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White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


Wide distribution

(Taber 1940; Kaufmann et al. 1976; Gompper 1995; González-Maya and Rodrígues-Bolaños 2011; Cuarón et al. 2015)

  • Regions
    • Southwestern United States (Arizona, New Mexico)
    • Mexico (except Baja California and central highlands)
    • Central America
    • Northwestern South America
      • West of Andes Mountains, from Columbia to northern Peru
      • Hirsch and Gompper (2017): “The southern geographic range limits of the white-nosed coati are unclear; the species occurs throughout Panama and may also occur in parts of Colombia and Ecuador.”
  • Higher population densities in the tropics than southwestern United States (Lanning 1976; Gompper 1995; MacDonald et al. 2017)
    • Numbers in U.S. limited due to aridity, cold temperatures, disease, unsuitable plant cover, and less abundant food (Kaufmann et al. 1976)

Distribution of subspecies

Elevation range

  • Arizona and New Mexico
    • Most common at 1,400 to 2,000 m (4,600 to 7,000 ft) (Kaufmann et al. 1976)
      • Up to 2,900 m (9,500 ft) (Leopold 1959; Risser 1963)
  • Occur in small isolated mountain ranges in Mexico and the southwestern U.S. (Cuarón et al. 2015)


Occupy a variety of habitat types

  • Coatis can adapt to various temperature, altitude, and precipitation conditions (e.g., Risser 1963; Cuarón et al. 2015)
  • Primary habitats
    • Tropical woodlands (Cuarón et al. 2015)
    • Open forests (Cuarón et al. 2015)
  • Additional habitats
    • Palm stands (Yaap et al. 2015)
    • Temperate woodlands (e.g., oak, pine) and riparian woodlands (U.S., Mexico) (Wallmo and Gallizioli 1954; Glatston 1994; Cuarón et al. 2015)
    • Wetland areas, such as the Pantanal (B. Hirsch, personal communication, 2021)
    • Rare/absent in open grasslands or deserts (Cuarón et al. 2015)

White-nosed Coati Distribution

White-nosed coati distribution

The white-nosed coati is found from Arizona and New Mexico in the United States to northern Peru.

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

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