Land fauna in Argentina: mammals

Big mammals in Argentina

Llama, guanaco or vicuña

Llama
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Llama, Lama Lama (Lama glama)

Along with guanacos, vicuñas or alpacas, the llama is one of the four South American camelids. This animal has been domesticated for centuries for the production of wool and meat and also to be used as a beast of burden. The llama is the largest of all camelids and it has an oval head. The color and size of its fur depends on the type of breed. Llamas may be found all over the Andean region.

Vicuña, Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna)

The vicuña is the smallest species in the camelid family, with thin snut and legs. It is also the smallest in number. It lives in the Andean high plateau of the Northwest in a group composed of one male, two to four females, and their calves. Its reddish and white wood is the best quality fiber after the silk. The vicuña, which has been hunted for a long time, today is protected species.

Alpaca, Alpaca (Vicugna pacos)

La alpaca, or alpaga, is scarce in Argentina. It lives in the Andes at 3,500 and 5,000 meters high. Since it has a small size-just 1m tall and a lovely behaviour, this species is sometimes domesticated and adopted as a pet. The abundant alpaca’s wool is resistant, silky and warm.

Guanaco
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Guanaco, Guanaco (Lama guanicoe)

Unlike the llama, the guanaco is a wild animal. The more populated groups live in the Patagonian steppe and Tierra del Fuego, and they may also be found in the woods where they search for food (they are herbivores). Its fur has a reddish color, and white in the ventral region. Gestation lasts eleven months.

South American Tapir, Tapirus (Tapirus)

This fat mammal with a heavy body and thick skin uses its short snout to grab food. It is a nocturnal, social, excellent swimmer and herbivorous animal. Hunted by men and felines, South American tapir is a vulnerable species. It is protected in the Baritú and Calilegua parks.

Marsh deer, Ciervo de los pantanos (Blastoceros dichotomous)

With its 2 m long and 1,20 tall, it is the largest cervid in South America. It is a protected species that prefers humid regions, particularly that of the Iberá Wetlands.

Southern Pudu, Pudú (Pudu puda)

With 40 cm long, southern pudu is the world’s smallest deer and it may only be found in the andean-patagonian region. The male wear small antlers without ramifications. This species, in danger of extinction, is protected in Argentina in the Lanín park and Victoria island.

Monito del monte, Monito del monte (Dromiciops gliroides)

This marsupial, endemic to the humid forests in the mountain range, is considered a live fossil, for it is the only survivor of its species. It has the size of a rat and a prehensile tail that makes it an excellent climber. It may be found in Nahuel Huapi and Lanín parks (Patagonia).

Foxes, Zorros (Pseudalopex)

There are different varieties of foxes in Argentina. From grey fox (1 m maximum in the male and unique endemic species in Patagonia) to great red fox (the largest canine in South America after the maned wolf) found in the west region of the country, beginning in the northwest and ending in Tierra del Fuego. The great pampas aguara guazú is in danger of extinction.