The Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a small nocturnal mammal around the size of a domestic cat. Mostly solitary, it is agile, quick, and a very good climber.
Ringtails are omnivores, eating mostly insects during the summer and fall months while consuming fruit, small mammals, birds, and reptiles during the winter and spring months. Predators of the Ringtail include coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, and great-horned owls.
Ringtails are easily distinguishable by their long, alternating black- and white-banded tail, a foxlike face, large rounded ears, and large eyes. In the western United States they are found from southwestern Oregon south through California to Baja California, Mexico. They prefer living in semi-arid desert canyons, palm groves, riparian habitats, and semi-oak woodlands.
Learn more about the Ringtail at San Diego Zoo Global.
VIDEO CREDIT: BBC Motion Gallery / Getty Images
PHOTO CREDIT: Sgt. Siglitz