Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

Chacoan Peccary (Catagonus wagneri) Fact Sheet: Reproduction & Development

Chacoan Peccary (Catagonus wagneri)


  • Young are born year round, though births peak during time of abundant food and rainfall (Taber et al. 2011)
  • Reproductive rate
    • Females in the wild mature from 2 years; females in managed care may mature sooner (1.2 years of age)
    • Young females usually had smaller litters than older females
  • One litter per year

Gestation and Birth


  • 151 days
  • Farrowing season is September-January. Most wild births in Paraguay (93%) occur September through October, a period that coincides with the transition from the dry (May-October) to the wet season (November-April). Births in managed care at Proyecto Taguá occur throughout the year but peak September-November.


  • Lone females may leave the herd just prior to parturition and rejoin it in about a week. Young usually remain under their dam or close alongside her. 
  • Able to run within 2 hours of birth. 
  • At birth: Deciduous teeth consist of the third lower incisor and lower and upper canines.
  • Small litter size: usually 2 or 3 (range: 1-4)

Life Stages

Infants (<1 month of age):  

  • Pelage coloration (until the age of 3-4 months) is grizzled tan and black, with a black back stripe, tan shoulder collar, and white underside. 
  • Neonates are precocial and travel with the herd at less than 1 week of age. Observations at Proyecto Taguá suggest that group tolerance and acceptance of infants is greater than in other species of peccaries. 
  • Begin to eat solid food at 14-17 days. 
  • During 1st week: Body weight is 500-1,050 g. Two females born at Phoenix Zoo weighed 900 and 1,050 g, respectively, at 2 days of age (GL Thomas, personal communication).  
  • At about 1 month:  
    • Body weight is 2-2.9 kg. 
    • Body (snout-tail) length is 46 cm. 
    • Deciduous teeth consist of the third lower incisor, lower and upper canines, and the first and second, lower and upper premolars. 

Juveniles (1-12 months of age):  

  • Body weight is 4.5-18 kg. 
  • Body length is 78-93 cm (males) to 91-95 cm (females). 
  • Adult coloration at 3-4 months of age. 
  • Deciduous dentition is complete: 2/3, incisors; 1/1, canines; 3/3, premolars; total, 26. 
  • In a 1.7-hectare enclosure, young visited a feeding station independent of adults as early as 70 days of age. 
  • Scent gland grooming begins at this stage of development. 

Young adults (1-2 years of age):  

  • Body weight is 23-24.5 kg (females) and 23.5-24 kg (males). 
  • Body length is 97-104 cm (males) to 100-122 cm (females). 
  • Most deciduous teeth are replaced with permanent teeth. 
  • Chacoan peccaries in the wild possibly breed around 2 years of age, but in managed care, conception can occur before 1 year; female collared peccaries reach first estrus as early as 33 weeks. 
  • Sexual maturity: from 2 years of age

Adults (>2 years of age):  

  • Body weight is 29.5-40 kg (males) and 30.5-38.5 kg (females); 43.5 kg for a pregnant female. 
  • Body length is 96-116 cm (males) to 103-117 cm (females). 
  • Permanent dentition is in place.


(Taber et al. 2011)

In the wild

  • Maximum longevity unknown; thought to be at least 9 years

In managed care

  • Some individuals have lived to be 10.5 years

Mortality and Health

  • Annual mortality in the Paraguayan Chaco was 47%. Among animals in managed care at Proyecto Taguá (western Paraguay), mortality was 50% between birth and 3 months of age and 4% between 3 and 12 months.
  • Mountain lions and jaguars are known predators; ocelots may prey on young.

Young Peccaries

Three young Chacoan Peccaries nursing

Three peccaries at the San Diego Zoo nurse from their mother.

Chacoan peccaries have few young—2-3 per breeding cycle is typical.

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

Page Citations

Benirschke & Heuschele (1993)
Benirschke et al. (1990)
Brooks (1992)
Handen & Benirschke (1991)
Hayssen et al. (1993)
Mayer & Brandt (1982)
Mayer & Wetzel (1986)
Redford & Eisenberg (1992)
Sowls (1997)
Taber (1990)
Taber et al. (1993)
Unger (1999)
Wetzel (1977)
Yahnke et al. (1997)

SDZWA Library Links