Chacoan peccary in exhibit

Chacoan Peccary

Scientific Name

Catagonus wagneri

Geographic Range

Gran Chago region of Paraguay, Bolivia, and northern Argentina

Diet

Cacti, seeds, roots (carrion, small mammals)
Chacoan peccary in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: ENDANGERED IUCN Conservation Status: ENDANGERED

About This Animal

Chacoan peccaries are small, hoofed mammals that resemble their distant relatives, pigs and hogs. They can be between 35–44 inches long and weigh 65–88 pounds. They’re brownish-gray in color and covered in medium-length hair. They are distinguished from other peccary species by their larger heads, snouts, ears, and legs.

These animals live in semiarid thorn forests and steppes. They’re diurnal, so they’re most active during the daytime. They spend much of their time foraging for food.

Chacoan peccaries are often social; they can be found in groups of up to nine animals. However, they’re also territorial, with home ranges of 4-6 square miles. They mate in April and May and have litters of up to four young at a time.

Scientists thought Chacoan peccaries were extinct—although the local Guarani people could have told them otherwise—until researchers finally encountered live ones in 1972. However, the animals’ already-fragmented numbers are declining due to hunting, habitat loss, and disease.

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