are ring tailed cats endangered

Ecology edit

Ringtails of all ages are opportunistically preyed upon by foxes, coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, hawks, and owls; however, they primarily feed on younger, more vulnerable specimens. [10] The ringtail is fairly skilled at eluding predators, and it occasionally becomes prey for coatis, lynxes, and mountain lions. [citation needed] The ringtail’s ability to release musk in response to being startled or threatened is largely responsible for its ability to deter potential predators. The red-tailed hawk and the great horned owl are the two primary predators of ringtails. [17].

Although the pelts of ringtails have occasionally been hunted, the fur is not particularly valuable. Although fur trapping has significantly decreased, it is still unknown how big and how quickly the population is currently. [21].

Range and habitat edit

Typically found in rocky desert environments, ringtails nest in tree cavities or abandoned wooden buildings. It can be found in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico, as well as the Great Basin Desert, which spans several states (Nevada, Utah, California, Idaho, and Oregon). Additionally, the ringtail favors rocky areas near bodies of water, like mine shafts, caverns, and riparian canyons. [16].

In regions with an abundance of water, up to 50 ringtails per square square mile (20/km2) have been found. The territories of male ringtails span 50–100 acres (20–40 ha), with occasional intersections with multiple females. [17].

Fossils assigned to B. Astutus discovered as far north as Washington date to the early Pliocene era. [12].

  • Two ringtails
  • Ringtail den
  • Ringtail in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Bassaris astuta print from Iconographia Zoologica (1700–1880)

Diet edit

The most crucial wintertime foods are small vertebrates like frogs, toads, lizards, squirrels, rabbits, rats, mice, and passerine birds. [10] However, the ringtail is omnivorous, as are all procyonids. Insects and berries are staples of the diet throughout the year, with other fruits taking center stage in the spring and summer. [19].

The ringtail is an omnivore that consumes a wide range of foods, most of which are animal products. The carnivorous tendencies of ringtails include insects and small mammals like rats, mice, and ground squirrels. The ringtail will occasionally also consume carrion, fish, lizards, birds, and snakes. In addition, the ringtail prefers fruit in general, juniper, hack and black berries, persimmon, and prickly pears. They have even been seen consuming sweet nectar, sweetened water, hummingbird feeders, and bird seed. [17].

According to the findings of a study conducted on ringtail scat on Isla San José, Baja California Sur, ringtails typically prey on the species that is most abundant in that particular season. Insects made up the majority of the ringtails’ diet during the spring, as evidenced by roughly 2050% of the examined feces. Small rodents, snakes, and some lizards were also present. Plant matter was displayed in large quantities; approximately 2059 percent of the collected plant waste contained some kind of plant, with the most common plant fruits being Phaulothamnus, Lycium, and Solanum. The abundance of ironwood seeds and leaves revealed that the ringtail was clearly partial to these succulent fruits. [20].


Are ringtail cats protected?

As of January 1968, the California Legislature conferred the status of fully protected mammal upon the ringtail; it cannot be taken in any manner at any time of the year except for scientific purposes under special permit issued by the California Department of Fish and Game.

Are ringtail cats rare to see?

Natural History. Commonly referred to as the Ringtail Cat, the Ringtail is not a cat at all, it is actually in the raccoon family. They are very elusive and are rarely seen during the day as they are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night.

How rare are ringtails?

POPULATION STATUS. Ringtails are common throughout the rocky habitats of the western and central parts of the state. They are less abundant in eastern and southern Texas and the plains area of the Panhandle.

What states do ringtail cats live in?

Ringtails can be found from southwestern Oregon, south through California, southern Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Baja California and northern Mexico. The ringtail is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.