Appearance: Ringtails slightly resemble small foxes. Their bodies are covered in dark brown fur with white underparts and a well-defined black and white striped tail. They have large, black eyes and short, straight, semi-retractable claws on each foot.

Habitat: They live in rocky outcroppings, canyons or talus slopes in semi-arid country, deserts, chaparral, oak woodlands, pinyon pine woodlands, juniper woodlands and montane conifer forests. 

Family Life: Females are mainly responsibe for care of the young, foraging with them once they turn two months old. Ringtails use scent marking to define their home range territory. During mating season, they increase their marking activity to attract a mate while scarring off competitors. 

Threats: Threats include habitat fragmentation and vehicle strikes. 


Class: Mammalia (Mammals)

Order: Carnivora

Family: Procyonidae

Genus: Bassariscus

Species: Astutus

Status: Threatened

Number at the Zoo: 1 adult

Lifespan:7 years in the wild; 14 years in managed care

Diet: Omnivore


all about az

Ringtails are Arizona's state mammal!

Movin' on up

They are excellent climbers, maneuvering along cliffs and ledges by ricocheting from wall to wall.

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The Phoenix Zoo is one of the largest non-profit zoos in the U.S., caring for over 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened/endangered species.