Animals of Costa Rica

Collared Peccary

Did you know that collared peccaries actually have a scent gland on their lower backs? This gland gives off a musky smell and is used by the peccary to mark their territory and identify other members of their troop. Once you get to know what this smell is like, it will be easy to detect when peccaries are in the area. Pictured here are Pechan and Camote, our two sanctuary peccaries sharing their breakfast!

Taxonomy Tayassuidae (Pecari tajacu)
Spanish Name Saino
Conservation Status Least Concern
Lifespan 10-30 year based on surveys and captive individuals
Distribution Southwest United States to northwest Peru and Northern Argentina
Habitat Dry and moist forests, mature secondary forests, some desert ranges.
Behavior Social animals in herds of up to 15 individuals. Active day and night taking shelter in burrows and caves. Greet each other by rubbing rumps, near to scent gland. Scent gland is used to mark territory. Very vocal species in wild.
Weight 13-25 kilograms
Diet Insects, small vertebrates, roots and shoots, fruits, vegetable, and seeds
Reproduction Dependant on climate, particularly rain. Rainy years or seasons more offspring observed. 1-4 offspring can be born, but on average 2 young are born.
Threats Hunting, deforestation, climate change (affecting rainy seasons), predators (puma, jaguar, coyote, bobcat), and humans (hunting, pet trade, skinning for sales)

IUCN Redlist,, and Costa Rica Mammals, Eduardo Carrillo Grace Wong, and Joel C. Saenz. 2002. The Mammals of Costa Rica. Mark Wainwright 2007