White-lipped peccary

Last updated

White-lipped peccary
Tayassu pecari.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Tayassuidae
Genus: Tayassu
Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim, 1814
Species:
T. pecari
Binomial name
Tayassu pecari
(Link, 1795)
Tayassu pecari range map.png

The white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) is a peccary found in Central and South America. Most of its range is in rainforests, but it is also known from a wide range of other habitats such as dry forests, grasslands, mangrove, Cerrado, and dry xerophytic areas. [1] It lives in herds of 20–300 individuals that typically take up about 120 km2 (46 sq mi) to fully function. Members of this species are omnivorous, feeding mostly on fruit, and are usually found traveling great distances to obtain it. If this resource is in demand and difficult to find, peccaries eat leaves, stems, or animal parts. White-lipped peccaries have several unique attributes that allow them to stay with and identify their herd, which is essential for their survival in the wild.

Contents

Physical description

The white-lipped peccary lives to be around 13 years old and can give birth to two young at a time. The head and body length ranges from 90–139 cm (35–55 in), the shoulder height is between 40 and 60 cm (16 and 24 in), the tail length is from 3–6 cm (1.2–2.4 in), and the adult weight is 25–40 kg (55–88 lb). [2] [3] Their color is generally brown or black. The coat is bristly and has hairs running lengthways down the spine growing longer than the hairs running down the body, making a crest, which rises when the peccary becomes excited. The peccary has a round body [3] with a long snout that ends in a circular disk where the nasal cavity starts. It has white markings that start below the snout and run to the cheek area just below the eyes. [3]

Food

White-lipped peccaries are omnivores feeding on fruits, nuts, vegetation, and small amounts of animal matter. Since the white-lipped peccary relies heavily on fruit, they travel to where the fruit and other essential resources are located. The fruiting season dictates most of their behavior. Fruit is more abundant in primary forests rather than secondary or coastal forests, so their populations are more dense in these regions. Generally, a period of fruit shortage occurs during the end of the wet season, so the consumption of secondary foods, such as leaves, stems, and animal parts, is increased.

Distribution, habitat, and movement

The white-lipped peccary is native to Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. [1] An example ecoregion of occurrence is the Belizean pine forests. [4] The peccary is regionally extinct in El Salvador [1] and Uruguay.[ citation needed ] They thrive in dense, humid, tropical forests, and can also be found in a wide range of other habitats such dry forests, grasslands, mangrove, Cerrado, and dry xerophytic areas. [1] They range from sea level to an altitude of 1,900 m (6,200 ft). [1]

Behavior

The white-lipped peccary is a diurnal feeder, and it performs all of its activities during the day, more specifically in the mornings and afternoons. It can spend up to two-thirds of its day traveling and feeding. Herds can number 20–300, including both males and females; some reports have described herds reaching 2,000 peccaries. The sex ratio within herds is about 1.4–1.8 females per male. The home range for the peccary is from 60–200 km2 (23–77 sq mi) in the Peruvian Amazon. The range lands of peccaries are massive due to the large number of individuals within the herd. Often, peccaries can be smelled before seen because they give off a skunk-like odor. White-lipped peccaries have a scent gland on their backs, which emits a scent, allowing a strong bond between members of the herd. They are a good indicator of the health of a forest, because they live in such large herds and in large areas.[ citation needed ]

They are known to be aggressive when cornered or feel threatened. They maintain contact with the herd by making a low moaning sound and will alert or intimidate others by proclaiming a loud “bark” [3] and show their teeth in an attempt to avoid conflict. When these animals roam in their range land, they can be very loud, clattering their teeth and grunting to one another to communicate and stay within the herd. They communicate with olfactory, acoustic, and physical contact to keep together in the herd. This is essential when warding off predators such as the jaguar, because it may not attack when 200 peccaries are in a herd.

Breeding

The white-lipped peccary can breed throughout the year depending on location. The breeding season is extremely variable and consists of two distinct peaks in areas such as Costa Rica, one occurring in February and one in July. Mexico has distinct breeding seasons in April and November. The breeding season follows the fruiting season, so the variability can be consistently different in each different region where they are found. Babies usually weigh about 1 kg (2.2 lb) at birth. [3] The young stay with the mother but are weaned by six months old. Sexual maturity is reached between one and two years old.

Major threats

The two main threats to their survival are deforestation and hunting. Destruction and subdivision of their natural range can have devastating effects on their population. Loss of habitat can lead to exposure for poachers, who can easily kill many peccaries at one time. Natural predators include the jaguar and puma. [3]

Endangerment status

The white-lipped peccary is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN [1] and listed on Appendix II on CITES. [3]

Related Research Articles

Peccary Family of mammals belonging to even-toed ungulates

A peccary is a medium-sized pig-like hoofed mammal of the family Tayassuidae. They are found throughout Central and South America, Trinidad in the Caribbean, and in the southwestern area of North America. They usually measure between 90 and 130 cm in length, and a full-grown adult usually weighs about 20 to 40 kg.

Llanos Grassland

The Llanos is a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela, in northwestern South America. It is an ecoregion of the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome.

Chacoan peccary Species of mammals belonging to the peccary family of even-toed ungulates

The Chacoan peccary or tagua is the last extant species of the genus Catagonus; it is a peccary found in the Gran Chaco of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. Approximately 3,000 remain in the world. It is believed to be the closest living relative to the extinct genus Platygonus.

Humid Chaco

The Humid Chaco is tropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion in South America. It lies in the basin of the Paraná River, covering portions of central Paraguay and northern Argentina, and with a small portion of southwestern Brazil and northwestern Uruguay. The natural vegetation is a mosaic of grasslands, palm savanna, and forest.

Collared peccary Species of mammals belonging to the peccary family

The collared peccary is a species of artiodactyl (even-toed) mammal in the family Tayassuidae found in North, Central, and South America. It is the only member of the genus Dicotyles. They are commonly referred to as javelina, saíno, or báquiro, although these terms are also used to describe other species in the family. The species is also known as the musk hog. In Trinidad, it is colloquially known as quenk.

Guanacaste Conservation Area

Guanacaste Conservation Area is an administrative area which is managed by the Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion (SINAC) of Costa Rica for conservation in the northwestern part of Costa Rica. It contains three national parks, as well as wildlife refuges and other nature reserves. The area contains the Area de Conservación Guanacaste World Heritage Site, which comprises four areas.

<i>Socratea exorrhiza</i> Species of palm

Socratea exorrhiza, the walking palm or cashapona, is a palm native to rainforests in tropical Central and South America. It can grow to 25 metres in height, with a stem diameter of up to 16 cm, but is more typically 15–20 m tall and 12 cm in diameter. It has unusual stilt roots, the function of which has been debated. Many species of epiphyte have been found growing on the palms. The palm is pollinated by beetles, and various organisms eat its seeds or seedlings.

Helmeted manakin Species of bird

The helmeted manakin is a species of small passerine bird in the family Pipridae. Unlike most manakins, a family associated with tropical rainforests, the Helmeted manakin inhabits the seasonally dry Cerrado savanna of Central Brazil.

Franquets epauletted fruit bat Species of bat

Franquet's epauletted fruit bat is a species of megabat in the family Pteropodidae, and is one of three different species of epauletted bats. Franquet's epauletted fruit bat has a range of habitats, varying from sub-saharan forest to equatorial tropics.

The Central America bioregion is a biogeographic region comprising southern Mexico and Central America.

Chiquitano dry forests

The Chiquitano dry forests is a tropical dry broadleaf forest ecoregion in Bolivia and Brazil. The ecoregion is named for the Chiquitano people who live in the region.

Punta de Manabique is a small peninsula that separates Amatique Bay from the Gulf of Honduras. It is located on Guatemala's east coast, some 20 km north of Puerto Barrios.

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is a national park in the Limón Province of Costa Rica. It is situated within the Tortuguero Conservation Area of the northeastern part of the country. Despite its remote location, reachable only by airplane or boat, it is the third-most visited park in Costa Rica. The park has a large variety of biological diversity due to the existence within the reserve of eleven different habitats, including rainforest, mangrove forests, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. Located in a tropical climate, it is very humid, and receives up to 250 inches (6,400 mm) of rain a year.

Southern Andean Yungas Ecoregion

The Southern Andean Yungas is a tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion in the Yungas of southwestern Bolivia and northwestern Argentina.

Flora and fauna of Honduras

The flora and fauna of Honduras reflects the country's geographical location inside the tropics. This has allowed for diverse species of plants and animals to be adapted, but some of them are now in danger of extinction. This has posed the Honduran government, offices and nature organizations to look after the protection of the local environment, like the creation of nature reserves.

Madeira–Tapajós moist forests

The Madeira-Tapajós moist forests (NT0135) is an ecoregion in the Amazon basin. It is part of the Amazon biome. The ecoregion extends southwest from the Amazon River between its large Madeira and Tapajós tributaries, and crosses the border into Bolivia. In the south it transitions into the cerrado biome of Mato Grosso. In the state of Rondônia it contains some of the most degraded land of the Amazon basin.

Ecuadorian dry forests

The Ecuadorian dry forests (NT0214) is an ecoregion near the Pacific coast of the Ecuador. The habitat has been occupied by people for centuries and has been severely damaged by deforestation, overgrazing and hillside erosion due to unsustainable agriculture. Only 1% of the original forest remains. The patches of forest, mostly secondary growth, are fragmented. They are home to many endemic species at risk of extinction.

Childrens Eternal Rainforest

The Children's Eternal Rainforest is a private land trust and preserve in Costa Rica. The 23,000-hectare preserve is run by the non-profit Monteverde Conservation League.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Keuroghlian, A.; Desbiez, A.; Reyna-Hurtado, R.; Altrichter, M.; Beck, H.; Taber, A. & Fragoso, J.M.V. (2013). "Tayassu pecari". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of near threatened.
  2. Mayer, J.J.; Wetzel, R.M. (1987). "Tayassu pecari". Mammalian Species. 293 (293): 1–7. doi: 10.2307/3503865 . JSTOR   3503865.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Tayassu pecari: White-lipped peccary". ultimateungulate.com. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  4. Hogan, C. Michael (2012). McGinley, M. (ed.). "Belizean pine forests". Encyclopedia of Earth. Washington DC: World Wildlife Fund via eoearth.org.

Further reading