Kinkajous - Conservators Center
Jungle Cats
30 August 2016
30 August 2016

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)


Potos flavus

The kinkajou, Potos flavus, is a small, tree-dwelling mammal of the family Procyonidæ. Distantly related to the raccoon, kinkajou are one of only two carnivores to have a prehensile tail. Also known as “honey bears,” kinkajou behave as pollinators in many of the forests where they are found.

Kinkajou range. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) 2016. Potos flavus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1

Kinkajou range stretches throughout most of the neotropical forests in Central and South America. This includes areas in southern Mexico and northern Brazil. Threats to the kinkajou include deforestation, capture for the exotic pet trade, and hunting for meat and fur.

Arboreal and nocturnal, the kinkajou is found in forests as high as 2,500 m and is an important seed disperser in the ecosystems where it is found. This includes the tropical rain, tropical evergreen, and tropical dry forests; savannah; coastal woods; and evergreen galleries in Central and South America.

Kinkajou are solitary by nature, but have been observed in grazing parties as many as five strong for brief periods. This social organization has been described as “solitary group-life.”

The kinkajou is classified as a carnivore because of its teeth, but actually survives on a diet of fruit, flowers, and leaves.

Meet the Conservators Center's Kinkajous