Cozumel Raccoon, a miniature variety

Currently there are only between 200 and 300 specimens of the Cozumel raccoon. We tell you about this little one about to extinguish because of tourism.

The pygmy raccoon is an endemic species of the island of Cozumel, in the State of Quintana Roo. Its current status is classified as critical, since it is estimated that there are only between 250 and 300 specimens. Also known as Cozumel Raccoon, inhabits a small area of ​​distribution, this being the direct cause of its danger of extinction.

One of its main features is the use of its front legs as hands, having the power to take almost everything with them. They have an omnivorous diet, feeding mainly on crabs, insects and fruits.

Regarding its taxonomy, Cozumel’s raccoon shows gray fur with white stripes, black glasses and golden tail. Their weight ranges between 6.5 and 8.8 pounds, there is dimorphism between the size of the male and that of the female. Unlike other raccoons, Cozumel’s pygmy has a smaller size of body, skull and ears.

As for their behavior, they are introverted and solitary animals, although sometimes they usually form family groups. Their main interaction occurs during the mating season, which goes from January to March. The gestation period lasts from 60 to 75 days, after which a litter of 3 to 5 individuals is born. His life expectancy is 12 years in freedom and up to 20 in captivity. However, raccoons currently live 3 years on average due to the threat of their habitat.

Their activity is usually during the nights, although it is also possible to see them during the day. Raccoons can purr, whistle, growl, scream and even whinny.

The word raccoon comes from the Nahuatl “mapactli”, which means the one with hands. While its scientific name is Procyon pygmaeus, a species belonging to the Procyonidae family.

A Mexican species about to disappear

The island of Cozumel has an area of ​​478 square kilometers and is located east of the Yucatan Peninsula. Due to current tourism development, the area where raccoons usually inhabit has been reduced.

Another factor that has influenced the reduction of specimens is the introduction of non-ecosystem species by humans, such as domestic cats and dogs.


SEMARNAT Refuses Expansion of SSA Mexico Cruise Terminal in Cozumel (Resolutive)

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) is the government agency whose main purpose is to constitute a State policy of environmental protection, which reverses the trends of ecological deterioration and lays the foundations for sustainable development in Mexico.

COZUMEL, Quintana Roo, September 13.- The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) rejected the environmental impact statement (MIA) entered by the SSA Mexico concessionaire, for the expansion of its terminal on this island, as it failed to comply with the process marked by law.

As it is a procedural problem (they did not publish the project statement in a newspaper within the period set by law) the environmental authority did not go into the matter to assess the viability of this project, so it will be up to the company to re-submit it to consideration.

In Red: Expansion project of the catwalk and construction of “Duque de alba” projected

SSA Mexico intended to build a platform, supported by nine columns, and gangway, with an investment of 56 million pesos, so that they can dock up to three cruise ships larger than the current ones.


During the period in which it was submitted for public consultation, Semarnat received 49 citizen questionnaires with objections to the project, most of which were “members of the municipality of Cozumel”, but also of the Sustainable Development Goal 14 of the United Nations, from the CEMDA association, and from another cruise terminal. The complaints were due to possible damage to the reef due to the works or due to the greater human activity in the area, omissions on long-term impacts, lack of mitigating measures, being inside a protected area, among others. The SSA competition claimed that the new platform would be a risk to navigation.

Location within the existing SSA Mexico dock, in the upper part in pink, extension project of the catwalk and in the lower part, also in pink extension construction project type “Duque de alba”

Additionally, after the deadline, another 73 questionnaires arrived, entered by 38 different people, which were no longer contemplated.

Neither the SSA Mexico document nor the objections were analyzed by Semarnat, as the project was rejected due to a procedural failure.

Renovated Offices

It should be noted that, in recent weeks, the offices of this terminal were virtually demolished, to be expanded and modernized. These are works outside of what was contemplated in this MIA.