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Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) Fact Sheet, 2009   Tags: camel, conservation, fact sheet, fiber, fur, guanaco, llama, san diego zoo, south america, wildlife  

Last Updated: Nov 2, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) Fact Sheet, 2009

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Describer (Date): Mueller, 1776

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Camelidae

Genus: Lama

Species: Lama guanicoe

Body Weight: 175-265 lbs (80-120 kg)

Body Length: 5.1-6.6 ft (90-125 cm)

Shoulder Height: 5.1-6.6 ft (90-125 cm)

Tail Length: 9-12 in (22-25 cm)

Pelage: Dense, wooly coat

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Range: Parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru

Habitat: Grassland, scrub, tree-studded savannas

IUCN Status: Least Concern ver 3.1

CITES Appendix: Appendix II

Population in Wild: between 1,500,000-2,200,000, with the estimated number of adults between 1,000,000-1,500,000 (see IUCN website)

Locomotion: Run at 40 mph (64 km/hr); strong swimmers

Activity Cycle: Dirunal

Social Groups: Territorial male with family group; solo territorial males; immature male groups; bands of adult females with young

Diet: Opportunistic feeder; being both a grazer and a browser, eats grass, herbs, and leaves

Predators: Pumas (Puma concolor) and culpeos (Lycalopex culpaeus) on the young

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity: Females 2 yrs.; Males 3 yrs.

Gestation: 11.5 months

Litter Size: Single offspring

Birth weight: 7-15 kg (7-33 lb)

Age at Weaning: 7 months but will resume nursing again when next offspring is born, up until about 13 months.

Longevity: 15-20 years in wild

Feature Fact: The camelid family evolved in North America for some 40 million years before migrating to Asia and South America; guanacos and vicuñas are their wild descendants.

Society Press: The San Diego Zoo received the first pair in 1968.


About This Fact Sheet

© 2009-2015 San Diego Zoo Global. Update 2015.

How to cite: Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) Fact Sheet, 2009. c2009-2015. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd].
(Note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to



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