The Olingo of Costa Rica
Olingos come from the same family of animals as Coatis and Raccoons, and the Northern Olingo is only found in certain parts of Central America.
The Northern Olingo covers a range that extends from southern Honduras through Panama. Other members of the genus Bassaricyon are found in areas of Central and South America. Olingos inhabit tropical wet forest and montane forests. In Costa Rica they can be found at Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Arenal Volcano National Park, Corcovado National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and La Selva Biological Station.
The Western Lowland Olingo is known more prominently to exist in Panama, but it may make it into the southern areas of Costa Rica via La Amistad International Park.
Mating & Reproduction
Northern Olingos breed during the dry season. They usually only give birth to a single individual. The gestation period for a female Northern Olingo is around ten weeks. The young are born a faint gray-brown color with dark stripes. As they age, their stripes fade.
Northern Olingos sleep in dens made in trees during the day. Olingos are nocturnal herbivores, but they will also eat small vertebrates at times. They mostly eat fruit and nectar which they forage for at night. They supplement their diets with small mammals such as mice and squirrels.
Olingos are arboreal (they live in trees), and they are sometimes seen socializing in pairs. For the most part, Olingos are considered to be a solitary animal. They are preyed upon by tayras, ocelots, jaguarondi and boa constrictors.
Olingos are related to kinkajous, but unlike kinkajous, their tails are not prehensile (used to grasp). However, they do use their tails to help with balance.
Like a skunk, Olingos possess anal scent glands that are capable of releasing a foul smelling chemical when it feels threatened.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Arenal Volcano National Park, Corcovado National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, La Selva Biological Station
Diet: fruit, nectar, small vertebrates
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: tropical wet forest, montane forest
Size: length=37-47 cm weight=1.13-1.58 kg tail=40-52 cm
Species: Bassaricyon gabbii, Bassaricyon medius