COLLARED PECCARY – Tayassu tajacu


Collared peccary facts: Collared peccary adults measure 46 to 60 inches (11.8 to 152.4 centimeters) long and weigh between 40 and 60 pounds (18.2 to 27.2 kilograms). Their skin is black and gray, with a dark stripe running down their backs. They are easy to spot because of a whitish gray band of fur around their necks. Babies are yellow-brown or red.

Geographic range: Known in Spanish as the javelina (pronounced HAV-a-lee-nah), this species is found in the southwestern United States. It also lives in Central America and on the Pacific coasts of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, mainly inhabiting the Chaco, or dry tropical thorn forest.

Collared peccary habitat: Collared peccaries live throughout a range of habitats, from open deserts to oak forests to tropical forests. They are also found occasionally on floodplains in the Amazon.

What does collared peccary eat: They eat cacti (KACK-tie, or KACK-tee), roots, fruit, seeds, shrubs, small lizards and mammals, and in Arizona, the prickly pear. This is an ideal fruit for the collared peccary, as it has a high water content.

Behavior and reproduction: Herd size varies depending upon habitat, so groups can be comprised from as few as two to as many as thirty individuals. This species lives in hollowed-out logs or hollows in the ground, near water if possible. They are most active during the cooler times of day, during the morning or after sunset.

After a pregnancy of 145 days or so, the female gives birth to two offspring. The approximate age at first breeding is sixteen months. Not much else is known about the reproductive behavior of this animal, though experts believe both sexes have several mates and do not bond.

Predators of the collared peccary include bobcats, coyotes, pumas, and jaguars. Collared peccaries and people: This species is the most widely hunted of all peccaries. Its meat is a source of food and money for many rural Peruvians.

Conservation status: Collared peccaries are not considered threatened.