Peccary, Chacoan

Peccary, Chacoan

Scientific Name: Catagonus wagneri

Status: Endangered

Habitat: Gran Chaco of Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay

Diet: Peccaries are herbivorous, eating fruit, leaves, roots, stems, and seeds.

Length: 36–44 inches

Height: 20–27 inches

Weight: 65–88 pounds

The word peccary is of Brazilian Tupi Indian origin, meaning “an animal which makes many paths through the woods.” Chacoan peccaries are social animals that live in small herds of up to ten individuals. They communicate using various sounds, from grunting to teeth chattering, as well as by scent marking. There is little intergroup aggression and no dominance hierarchy. Voluntary physical contact is common: five to nine animals are frequently seen grooming each other and resting together.

Because it lives in dense, thorny habitat (often referred to locally as “green hell”) that is almost impenetrable to people, this species was, until recently, known to science only through fossil remains. The first sightings of live Chacoan peccaries in Paraguay were reported in 1972. With the many threats facing this species, there is great concern that this recently discovered large mammal could soon truly disappear

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