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Chacoan Peccary Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Catagonus wagneri
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    South America’s Gran Chaco region in Paraguay, Bolivia and Southern Brazil
  • Status

    Chacoan peccaries are considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their formerly isolated habitat has been fragmented by large ranches, and hunting has also reduced their population.
  • Habitat

    Semi-arid thorn forest, open woodland and savanna
  • Niche

    In their arid habitat, peccaries have adapted to eat different kinds of cacti. They remove the spines by rolling the plants on the ground with their tough snouts. Chacoan peccaries forage succulent plants for water, seek out salt licks for vital minerals and occasionally eat roots, seed pods and flowers.
  • Life History

    Chacoan peccaries live in herds of up to 10 individuals. Litters usually consist of two young, born after a five-month gestation period, generally from September to December. Females sometimes leave the herd to give birth and return afterward.
  • Special Adaptations

    • Specialized kidneys break down cacti acid, and two-chambered stomachs are well suited to digest tough foods.
    • A milky, odorous substance secreted from glands on the back is used to mark territory and identify individuals.


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