Tayra
Eira barbara

CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Carnivora
FAMILY: Mustelidae

SIZE:
3-4 feet

RANGE:
Southern Mexico to Argentina

HABITAT:
Forests

DIET:
Wild - Mammals, birds, and fruit
Zoo - Meat, fruit, eggs, rats, and mice

DESCRIPTION:
They look somewhat like a cross between a weasel and an otter, having a long body and tail. Their coat is coarse and is dark brown or black on the body, with a lighter brown head. They have a yellow or white spot on their chest.

FACTS:

  • Tayras are forest dwellers climbing trees well and can leap from tree to tree.
  • They rest in hollow logs or trees.
  • They swim well.
  • They were tamed and used for rodent control by the Indians.
  • They can live over 17 years.

YOUNG:
Tayras can have 2 young.

STATUS:
CITES App. III; due to habitat destruction and hunting they have become threatened.

REFERENCE:
Walker's Mammals of the World, Vol. II, Ronald M. Nowak
The Management of Wild Mammals in Captivity, Lee S. Crandall