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

Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) Fact Sheet: Population & Conservation Status

Population Status

Total/global population estimates

  • 1,500,000-2,200,000 (Baldi et al. 2016)
    • Approximately 1,000,000-1,500,000 adults

Regional population estimates

  • Peru: 3,000
  • Bolivia: 150-200
  • Paraguay: 20-100
  • Chile: 270,000-299,000
  • Argentina: 1,225,000-1,890,000
  • Total Guanaco population: 1,498,170-2,192,300

Historical population estimates

  • When Europeans arrived in South America, it is estimated that there were 30-50 million guanacos

Conservation Status




Threats to Survival

Habitat loss and degradation

  • Occupy only 40% of original range (Puig 1995; Franklin et al. 1997) Distribution is fragmented into smaller, more isolated populations.

Human activities

  • Recreational and subsistence hunting, poaching,
  • Mining, oil exploration and extraction,
  • Fencing
  • Development of infrastructure (habitat loss and barriers to movement)
  • Land desertification due to overgrazing by domestic livestock

Climate change

  • Droughts, lack of water

Management Actions

  • Found in protected areas
  • Listed on Appendix II of CITES
    • International trade regulated (animals and products)
      • Fibers: demand due to thermal characteristics, fine-ness, and color
  • Laws prohibit hunting and poaching
  • Protections in Peru
  • Live-shearing and release of wild guanacos is being practiced in Patagonia
    • Aids conservation only if properly managed

Page Citations

IUCN (2009)
Raedeke (1979)

SDZWA Library Links