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Guanaco (Lama guanicoe)


The guanaco is the largest South American camelid, measuring up to 2 meters in length and weighing around 120 kilos. Their fur is reddish-brown and with whiter tones towards the belly.

Photo: Pía Vergara @piavergarafotografia


It inhabits from coastal environments to the high Andes mountain range, living up to 4500 meters above sea level. It is distributed in south-central Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. In Chile it can be found from the extreme north of the country to the island of Tierra del Fuego, with a fragmented distribution. The populations found in the Magallanes Region are the ones in the best condition.

It is a social but very territorial animal, commonly being sighted in family groups of a male, several females and their young of the year. It is also possible to spot groups of several non-reproductive male and female individuals, which are generally more numerous, and a third unit is made up of solitary individuals. During the winters in Patagonia the territoriality of the guanacos is diluted, being common to see large groups of individuals in search of protected environments and food.




Photos: Pía Vergara y Alfredo Rivera

Text: Nicolás Lagos

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