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Central American Agouti

The Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) is a rodent that is commonly directly seen as well as photographed by camera traps in the Santa Lucía reserve.

Unfortunately it does not depend on dense forest, therefore it can also be observed frequently in disturbed habitats near human settlements.

Agoutis are usually observed solitary foraging the understorey for food such as fruits and nuts. They appear even around the lodge when one of our fruiting trees - Guarea kunthiana - is bearing fruits and they start falling to the floor, because the birds such as toucans just can't keep up eating them all. Otherwise they are more common towards the lower end of the reserve (1.800m and below). Agoutis are considered excellent seed dispersers and - on the other end of the food spectrum - great food for the larger carnivores (such as Pumas).

Outside of the reserve they seem to be somewhat more common near rivers and are often found feeding on Guava (Psidium guajava) or Porotón (Erythrina sp.). Unfortunately they are also considered "pests" for some crops such as Casava (Manihot esculenta) and are potentially being hunted by local farmers.

The camera traps in Santa Lucía have not even once shown a baby or a juvenile, so - for good reasons - they seem to be somewhat secretive about they offspring.

Maybe because of their flexibility in terms of habitats, their decent reproduction rate (they're rodents after all) and their distribution range, they are currently considered Least Concern by the IUCN.

Here in Santa Lucía we are happy to have them in our reserve ... and always excited if we see an Agouti directly.

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