HABITAT AND RANGE
Chacoan peccaries are patchily distributed in central South America, extending from western Paraguay and south-eastern Bolivia to northern Argentina. They the enormous flat plain of the Gran Chaco, which is characterized by semi-arid thorn forests, savannah plains and marshes, and where temperatures are high and rainfall is low.
The Chacoan peccary's bristly coat is a speckled charcoal or brownish-grey, interspersed with long guard hairs which may be up to 9 inches long. There is a whitish collar across the shoulders and under the chin, which is thinner and less distinct than that in the collared peccary. There is a black dorsal stripe which trails onto the tail. The head is extremely large, and the nose tapers to a snout disc made of cartilage. The long, donkey-like ears are covered with long, pale hair, as are the legs. The legs are relatively long and adapted for running, with dew claws only on the forelegs. The dorsal gland is prominent.
Cacti are the Chacoan peccary’s main food. They pull off the spines with their teeth and spit them out. They also eat the roots of bromeliads, fruit, and occasionally forbs.
REPRODUCTION AND LIFESPAN
Young are generally born between the months of September to December, but litters have been found almost year-round. Births have been linked to periods of food abundance and rainfall. Females may leave the herd to give birth and then return afterwards. Newborns are precocial, able to run a few hours after birth. The pelage of the young resembles that of the adults. There is no sexual dimorphism, and they can live up to 9 years.
The range of the Chacoan peccary is being quickly transformed into large Texas-style ranches. When frightened, Chacoan peccaries flee, raising the long hairs on their back and spraying secretions from the gland on their back.