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Chacoan Peccary (Catagonus wagneri) Fact Sheet: Summary

Chacoan Peccary (Catagonus wagneri)

Chacoan Peccary (Catagonus wagneri) Fact Sheet

Chacoan Peccary

Chacoan Peccary (Catagonus wagneri)

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.


Taxonomy Physical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia - mammals

Order: Artiodactyla* (or Cetartiodactyla) - even-toed hoofed animals (includes pigs, sheep goats, cattle, deer)

Family: Tayassuidae - peccaries

Genus: Catagonus

Species: Catagonus wagneri - Chacoan peccary

Body Weight
Male: 29.5-40 kg (65-88 lb)
Female: 30.5-38.5 kg (67-85 lb)

Body Length
Male: 96-116 cm (38-46 in)
Female: 103-117 cm (40.5-46 in)

Tail Length
Male: 52-69 cm (20-27 in)
Female: 52.5-64 cm (21-25 in)

Brownish-gray with a collar of lighter hairs across its shoulder. Long, shaggy hairs. Dark, mid-dorsal stripe.

Distribution & Status Behavior & Ecology

Fragmented range within central South America: some areas of Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia

Thorn forest, open woodlands, and agricultural land.
Live in the Gran Chaco, one of the hottest regions in South America.

IUCN Status
Endangered (2011 assessment) (Altrichter M. et al., 2015)

CITES Appendix
Appendix I (UNEP 2019)

Populations in the Wild
Unknown. Severe population declines in recent decades. Likely 3,000-5,000 or fewer. Main threats are over-hunting and habitat loss.

Quadrapedal walk, run.

Activity Cycle
Diurnal (unusual for a mammal living in hot areas of South America).

Social Groups
Small, stable groups that may stay with each other for a year; individuals possibly related. Average group size is 3.7-4.6 individuals (range 1-10).

Fruits, cacti, roots; also, some flowers, seed pods, and herbs.

Humans, jaguar, puma/mountain lion, ocelots may prey on young.

Reproduction & Development Species Highlights

Sexual Maturity
From two years, in the wild

151 days

Litter Size
Typically 2-3; range: 1-4

Interbirth Interval
Females have young once per year.

Birth Weight
Weigh 500-1,050 g (1.1-2.3 lb) during first week.

Typical Life Expectancy
Wild populations: not reported
Managed care: no AZA estimates

Feature Facts

  • Rarest of the three peccary species
  • Eating cacti; helps them meet their water needs
  • Enjoy rolling and wallowing in mud to cope with the South American heat
  • Exhibit a head-down or "head-bowing" display
  • Females leave the group to give birth; newborns are able to run within two hours of birth
  • Easily tamed by indigenous people and kept either as pets or as food animals
  • Very few Chacoan peccaries left; losing habitat to agriculture and overhunted for food
  • San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has a successful breeding program for this rare, endangered animal

About This Fact Sheet

© 2001-2018 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor updates 2017. Population estimates and distribution updated 2018.


How to cite: Chacoan Peccary (Catagonus wagneri) Fact Sheet. c2001-2017. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. chacoanpeccary
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)


Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance 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

Chacoan Peccary

Chacoan Peccary front view

Chacoan peccary, front view.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

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