South American Coati (Nasua nasua)

The South American coati (Nasua nasua) is a member of the raccoon family Procyonidae. Its natural range extends from southern Colombia and Venezuela to northern Argentina and Uruguay. South American coati has been introduced to Mallorca, Robinson Crusoe Island and Cambria UK. The impact on Robinson Crusoe Island notably has been on native seabird colonies where the coati has decimated numbers. 

The Technical Assessment Panel (TAP) noted that there are currently no minimum standards applied to keeping the species in Australia and therefore an applicant wishing to import the species will be required to provide detailed guidelines on the way in which the species will be kept, transported and disposed of in accordance with the types of activity that the species may be used.

The TAP assessed South American coati as being moderately dangerous to humans, having a moderate (verging on high) risk of establishment and high consequence (risk that an established population would cause harm) if they established in Tasmania. Consequently, the TAP assessment concluded that the risk posed by importing South American coati into Tasmania is serious.

Following the initial risk assessment, the Department considers permitting the importation of animals assessed as ‘serious risk’ into the State as long as appropriate mitigation measures, enforced through a wildlife exhibition licence, can be identified and applied.

Mitigation options to reduce the risk associated with importing South American coati include:

  1. Limiting importation to registered wildlife parks or zoos to ensure the holding facility meets the stringent keeping standards​ Tasmania applies to all institutions.

  2. Only permanently castrated male animals will be approved for import.

  3. Requiring any wildlife park or zoo to submit a South American coati species management plan (including enclosure details) prior to import.

  4. The wildlife exhibition facility can clearly demonstrate they have proficient keepers for that particular species.

Assessment Documentation

  Coati - Risk Assessment   (265Kb)​


Wildlife Services

GPO Box 44,
HOBART, TAS, 7001.