Chacoan Peccaries


Scientific name

Catagonius wagneri

Global distribution

Gran Chaco of southeastern Bolivia, Paraguay and Northern Argentina


Semi arid thorn forest and steepe

Conservation status

Endangered by the IUCN and on the appendix 1 of the CITES

Probably only 7-10 thousands individuals left.

Physical characteristics

Body size


Head and body length of about 900 1,112 mm

Shoulder height 520 690 mm


29.5 40 kg


Brownish gray, there is a faint collar of lighter hairs across the shoulders and a black mid-dorsal stripe


Hair can be made erectile when excited.

Piglet colouring



6-9 tail vertebrae(Suids 20-23)

24 102 mm

Side view

Front view

Rear view

Anatomical points


Legs are long and slim and the hooves are small.

There are four digits on the forefoot, the two lateral ones being reduced and do not touch the ground.

There are two functional digits on the hind foot. There is no median digit on the back of the hind foot.

The third and fourth foot bones are united at their proximal ends (as in ruminants but not suids).

Elongated snout, longer than other peccaries

The stomach is two chambered but more complex than in Suids but none ruminating.


Scent gland 75 mm in diameter and 125 mm thick on the rump in front of the tail. Emits a specific odour.

Dental formulae

(i 2/3, c 1/1, pm 3/3, m 3/3) x 2 = 38

Upper canines form tusks, directed downwards not outwards or upwards as in Suidae, and they are generally shorter. Tusks are more slender.

Tusks average length is 40 mm.

There is a space between the canines and premolars

The premolars increase in size to first to last.

The molars have square crowns with four cusps

The molars are high crowned (hypsodont) rather than low crowned (bunodont).

Behaviour points

Maturing age

2 years of age in males

Mating ritual


Seasonal breeding

Mating occurs in April and May with the young being born in August and September (early spring)

Oestrus period


Gestation period


Litter size and lactation

1-4, usually 2-3


4 pairs of mammae

Weaning age


Family groups

Lives in groups of 1-10, usually 4-5 multiple ages and both sexes.

Appears to be no dominance hierarchy

Cooling behaviour

Mud and soil baths

Peak activity

It is cursorial and largely diurnal with peak activity in the late morning.



1,095 1,551 ha and travel 2.2 km per day.

Population density of 0.43/ sq km but other reports up to 9.21/ sq km.


Depends on browsing for food. Legume seeds, roots and cacti, possibly carrion and may prey on small mammals. Questions about the need to drink have been asked.