Peccaries Illustrations

NOT ALL WILD BOARS ARE PIGS

 

Their muzzles are all similar: “electrical outlet” style. Body shape is also similar: the same type of hooves, the posture of the foraging animal, the ears on the top of the head, their misaligned hairs... But some millions of years of Evolution separate the species of “wild pigs” of the Americas from domestic pigs, who are descendants from the wild boar (javali) and originated in the Old World. These two species are so different that the New World species are all Tayassuidae, while pigs are Suidae.

 

Confusion in language is not indifferent for animals. In areas where feral pigs, wild boars, and hybrids between the two (javaporcos) roam freely, they cause damage to bushes, savannahs, and plantations and are confused as invasive, which is practically their death sentence.  Where hunting is indiscriminate, to have “pig” as your nickname is half the work to get you on the dinner table.

 

How do we conserve such native species that have no identity and are treated like common “wild pigs”? Difficult, isn’t it? 

For this reason, the Wildlife Conservation Society- Brazil (WCS) is working to correctly identify white-lipped peccaries, collared peccaries, and Chacon peccaries. The three American Tayassuid species are presented here in illustrations by the biologist Pedro Rodrigues Busana, along with their various common names and scientific name.

 

Learn the peculiarities of each species and help us get rid of the generic nickname “wild pigs”.

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TAGUÁ, CHACO ARGENTINO, SOLITARIO, PECARI DU CHACO, QUIMILERO, CHACON PECCARY

Scientific name: Catagonus wagneri

Habitat: Endemic to the Chaco of Paraguay, Bolivia, and the southeast border of Brazil.

Size: Medium, average adult weight 30 to 40 kg. The largest of the Tayassuidae family.

Characteristics and behaviors: Brown to grey coat with some white on the shoulders and a dark band on the back. No sexual dimorphism. Large tusks, turned down. Ears, tail, and muzzle longer than other Tayassuids. Have narrow hooves and a third toe on the back hooves.

Live in small herds when compared to the other Tayassuidae species. Herds in Bolivia and Paraguay have up to 7 individuals of both sexes, probably from the same family. However, it is common to see individualls foraging alone, which gave rise to their common name , “solitario” in Bolivia. In general, 1 to 2 piglets are born per year. They are more active during the day, especially in the morning. Their diet is adapted to cacti and succlents.

Status: Endangered

Read more on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/4015/0

CATETO, CAITITU, CAITATU, TAITITU, TAITETÚ, CHANCHO DE COLAR, CHANCHO DE MONTE, CHÁCHARO, JAVELINA, KURE, PATIRA, PAKIRA, BÁQUIRO DE COLLAR, COLLARED PECCARY, PÉCARI A COLLIER, SAÍNO, SAJINO

Scientific Name: Pecari tajacu

Habitat: Tropical forests and Gallery forests of South and Central America. Secondary vegetation and deserts of Mexico and Southern United States.

Size: Small, average adult weight  18 kg

Characteristics and behavior: Heathered gray coat with a white spot around the neck, like a necklace, no sexual dimorphism. Piglets are light brown with a darker stripe on their backs. Small straight tusks. Short vestigial tail. Vision is not good, but their hearing is excelent. Use many types of vocalizations.  

Males, females, and piglets travel in herds up to 15 individuals. Usually 2 piglets are born per gestation. More active at dusk and at night, except during harsh winters, then the group forages during the day. Preferably frugivores, but also feed on roots, bulbs, mushrooms, and seeds. Occasionally they eat eggs, snakes, fish, amphibians, and carcasses.

Status: Least Concern 

Read more on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41777/0

QUEIXADA, TAIAÇU, TAJAÇU, TACUITÉ, SABUCU, PECARI DE LÁBIOS BRANCOS, CANELA RUIVA, QUEIXO RUIVO, TIRIRICA, TAÑYKATI, TANHOCATI, TROPA, TROPERO, CHANCHO DE TROPA, CHANCHO DE MONTE, WARI, HUANGANA, PINGO, PECARI LABIADO, CARIBLANCO, SENSO, WHITE-LIPPED PECCARY, PECARI A LIÉVRES BLANCHES

Scientific Name: Tayassu pecari

Habitat: From dense tropical forests to savanna with semi-arid vegetation or desert of the three Americas, between Southern Mexico and Northern Argentina.

Size: Medium, average adult weight 30 kg

Characteristics and behavior: Black coat with white spot on the chin (mandible), no sexual dimorphism (differences in appearance between males and females). Piglets are born with light and dark brown spots. Wide and large tusks, facing downward. Front hooves have two large toes that support their weight, and two small toes that only appear in their footprints left in soft soil. Hind hooves have three toes. They have various vocalizations and gnash their jaws in stressful situations.

Males, females, and piglets travel in herds with dozens or hundreds of individuals. Some records show herds with 300 individuals. Usually 1 to 2 pups (fraternal twins) are born per gestation per year. In the herd, ratio of male and females is almost equal. Everyone in the herd is related, so they are very social and protect each other when threatened. Active during the day and at night, although they are preferably diurnal. Feed mainly on fruits, but also eat leaves & grasses, aquatic plants, seeds, mushrooms, larvae, earthworms, and from time to time, even fish.

Status: Vulnerable

Read more on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41778/0

All illustrations may be copied and reproduced freely, provided the authorship is respected.


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