Tortuga Island Peccary

Common Name: Peccaries,

Type: Mammal

Family: Tayassuidae.

Range: The peccaries are an animal that is found mainly in the forests in North America and throughout Central and South America. The colored peccaries are resembled to javelins. They are much more common than the white-lipped peccary in Costa Rica dry tropical forest.

Size: They are normally measure 90 to 130 cm (3-4.3 ft). It is about 20 in (50 cm) high at the shoulder. and weighs about 50 lb (23 kg).

Weight: An adult Peccary is weighing between about 20-40 kg (44-88 lb).

Diet: The omnivorous diet of the eating roots, fruits, insects, worms, and reptiles. They are not fussy foragers. In Costa Rica, the scientists have unveiled that the color peccary’s diet varies during the year.

Average life span: Experts believe that wild collared peccaries can live up to sixteen years, but a small number of peccaries cross their eighth birthday.

Habitat: The Collared peccaries are found from Arizona and Texas down through Central and South America, and to Argentina. In Costa Rica, Peccaries are very common all over the country of Costa Rica. They are widespread in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Corcovado National Park, and Palo Verde National Park, La Selva Biological Station, Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, Hotoy-Cerere Biological Reserve, and Santa Rosa National Park.

Collared peccaries inhabit thick forest and second-growth jungle, and favor areas that are close to water so. They take a trip in groups of up to 30 individuals, and their home varies to an estimated at almost 300 acres. Colored peccary’s species is extremely territorial, so herd ranges rarely overlap.

Breeding/Reproduction: The female gestational period is last under five months, and females peccaries give birth to 1-5 babies, however, two births are normal. The Costa Rican Collared peccaries are born with either beige or chestnut coloring, and can run within hours of birth.
Young peccaries nurse for 6-8 weeks, and are totally independent within three months. As young, they usually connect to an adult in the group that is not always the birth mother. Females reach sexual maturity by one year.

The peccary, also known as the skunk pig, or the javelina, is a mammal of the Tayassuidae family, found exclusively in the Americas including the Costa Rica. These medium sized mammals look very similar to pigs and do belong to the same family. They look similar enough to common pigs, that they are often confused with each other. Just like pigs, they too have a round snout and small eyes. An adult peccary will weigh between 20-40 kilos, and will average 90-130 cm in length.

A peccary can survive in tropical deciduous forests, scrub forest, semi-desert land, and tropical rain forests etc, making it a very versatile mammal and ubiquitous all over America from Arizona to Costa Rica to Rio Plata. The peccary’s diet is vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian, making them omnivores. Their stomach has 3 compartments which makes it more complex than that of their cousins, the pigs. They prefer to eat grass, seeds, roots and small fruits. They especially enjoy cacti, but will also eat dead animals and insects. Unlike pigs however, the peccary are wild and cannot be domesticated. They will often attack humans when approached and can cause considerable damage. Peccaries are social animals and as such will also attack in groups, mortally wounding human beings.

There are four sub-species among the peccaries. The white-lipped peccary is considered to be the most dangerous of all the peccaries. It is found in Costa Rica and southern America. This species will form herds numbering 50 to 2000. The collared peccary on the other hand is shy and mostly gentle and will not attack unless in a dire situation. The chacoan peccary is another one of the peccary species and was considered to be extinct, recognized only by its fossils. This species was later found to be alive and doing well. The last type is the Giant peccary which is the biggest of all peccaries. These peccaries will always live in groups of two.

The peccaries are very social and stay in groups of 3 to 30 or more; the group size is likely to stay between 2 and 15 in Costa Rica. Individuals rub each other, especially to greet, each peccary will rub its head against the scent gland on the back of the other. All Peccaries make many vocalizations, like a loud bark, violent grumblings at the time of feeding, tooth chattering, with vibration. They might be aggressive over water holes in deciduous during the dry period.

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