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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)

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