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Sunday Species Snapshot: Mexican Agouti

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Mexican agoutiThese large, shy rodents have lost most of their natural habitat to rapid development in their native Mexico.

Species name: Mexican agouti (Dasyprocta mexicana).

Where found: Southern Mexico, primarily in what’s left of their evergreen and second growth forests. An introduced population also lives in Cuba. Ten other agouti species exist throughout South and Central America, but the Mexican agouti is the most at risk of the lot.

IUCN Red List status: Critically endangered

Major threat: Habitat loss due to agriculture and urban expansion. According to the IUCN, which last assessed the species in 2008, the Mexican agouti lost 89 percent of its habitat over the previous 50 years.

Notable conservation programs: Nada.

Multimedia: Agouti are known for standing on their rear feet and using their front paws to eat. Here you can see one eating a banana. Yeah, it’s cute:

Photo by Leonora Enking via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license

Previous Sunday Snapshots:

John R. Platt About the Author: Twice a week, John Platt shines a light on endangered species from all over the globe, exploring not just why they are dying out but also what's being done to rescue them from oblivion. Follow on Twitter @johnrplatt.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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