Animal Info - Chacoan Peccary

(Other Names: Chaco Argentino, Chaco Peccary, Chancho Quimilero, Pagua, Pécari du Chaco, Quimilero, Tagua)

Catagonus wagneri

Status: Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, Population Estimates, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Weight, Habitat, Age to Maturity, Birth Season, Birth Rate, Maximum Age, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization, Density and Range)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: Chacoan peccary #1 (Huffman 2004); Chacoan peccary #2 (75 Kb JPEG)

The Chacoan peccary weighs 30 - 40 kg (66 - 88 lb). Diurnal in nature, it lives in semi-arid thorn forest in areas of low rainfall and high temperature in the driest parts of the Gran Chaco. Cacti are preferred as its main food, although it also eats other plants and fruits. It lives in small stable groups of 2-10 individuals, with most groups consisting of 4 - 5 adults and accompanying juveniles.

The Chacoan peccary was first documented by Western science in 1975. It has only been reported from the Gran Chaco region of western Paraguay, northern Argentina and southeastern Bolivia. Its total geographical range is approximately 140,000 sq km

Reasons for the Chacoan peccary's decline include overhunting, habitat clearance for cattle ranching, disturbance from development (e.g. for oil exploration and road building) and disease.


Tidbits

*** The Chacoan peccary lives in one of the hottest and driest regions of South America.

*** It licks mineral rich soil from naturally occurring salt licks and leaf-cutter ant mounds.

*** The Chacoan peccary seems to be able to adapt to habitat which has been degraded (e.g. by fire or overgrazing by livestock) but not cleared.

*** Chacoan peccaries were reportedly found dead or dying from disease between 1979 and 1981.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Chacoan Peccary Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay (IUCN 2004).

Population Estimates:

[Note: Figures given are for wild populations only.]

History of Distribution:

The Chacoan peccary was first documented by Western science in 1975. It has only been reported from the Gran Chaco region of western Paraguay, northern Argentina and southeastern Bolivia. As of the late 1980's it occurred in Argentina in Chaco, Formosa, Salta and Santiago del Estero Provinces (widely distributed but at low density); and in Bolivia in the Departments of Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz and Tarija. As of 1993 it had a highly fragmented distribution in Paraguay, with the only significant population surviving (at low density) in the southwestern Department of Boqueron (about 4000 individuals (Oliver 1993). Its total geographical range is approximately 140,000 sq km (54,000 sq mi).

Distribution Map #1 (7 Kb GIF) (Huffman 2004) 
Distribution Map #2 (15 Kb) (InfoNatura) 

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Reasons for its decline include overhunting, habitat clearance for cattle ranching, disturbance from development (e.g. for oil exploration and road building) and disease.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

The Chacoan peccary weighs 30 - 40 kg (66 - 88 lb).

Habitat:

The Chacoan peccary is found in semi-arid thorn forest in areas of low rainfall and high temperature in the driest parts of the Gran Chaco. Its prime habitat is thorn forest characterized by emergent trees, a dense shrub layer and a ground cover of bromeliads and cacti. It is also found at lower density in open woodland.

Age to Maturity:

Females may produce their first litters when 2 years old.

Birth Season:

The farrowing season is September - January.

Birth Rate:

Mean litter size is 2.7, with a range of 1 - 4. There is 1 year between births.

Maximum Age:

At least 9 years.

Diet:

Cacti are its main food. It also eats the roots of bromeliads, fruit, and occasionally forbs.

Behavior:

The Chacoan peccary is diurnal.

Social Organization:

It lives in small stable groups of 2-10 individuals, with most groups consisting of 4 - 5 adults and accompanying juveniles. These groups stay together even when they are being attacked and killed.

Density and Range:

Density:

  • A study in the Paraguayan Chaco produced a density estimate of 0.43 individuals/sq km (1.1 individuals/sq mi) (Taber 1991).

Range:

  • The home range size of the Chacoan peccary is about 1100 hectares (2750 acres) and contains a core area of about 600 hectares (1500 acres) (Oliver 1993).

References

Anim. Div. Web, Burton & Pearson 1987, Huffman 2004, InfoNatura, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Macdonald 1984, Nowak & Paradiso 1983, Oliver 1993, Taber 1991


Top of Page | Search This Site

Home | Rarest Mammals | Species Index | Species Groups Index | Country Index | Links


Last modified: October 29, 2005;

© 1999 - 2014 Animal Info. Endangered animals of the world. SJ Contact Us.