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Vicuna - Facts, Diet, Habitat
The Vicuña is the smallest member of the family of camelids and is thought to be the alpaca's wild ancestor. It looks endearing, with its large, forward-dealing with eyes and small, wedge-shaped head with sharply triangular ears. The colour of the head varies from reddish-brown to yellow, and its neck is pale orange. Its chest is covered with a silky white mane, however the fur of the remainder of its body is soft and of the identical length. It has a pale brown back and its underside and the internal parts of its flanks are soiled white.
The vicuña inhabits the Andes in southern Peru, north-western Argentina, western Bolivia, and northern Chile. It lives in mountainous areas above three,200 meters, grazing on the short, tough vegetation of these semi-arid rolling grasslands, marshes and plains known as "antiplano" or "puna". It inhabits areas the place water is available for it to drink on a every day basis. The climate of its habitat is dry, and is sizzling through the day and cold at night.
Habits and Way of life
Vicuñas are shy and alert animals that run away very rapidly. After they sense danger, they make a transparent whistling noise. The dominant male warns the herd with its alarm call, after which positions himself between the threat and his herd. A single dominant male is the leader of a bunch of juveniles and females. He decides the range of the herd's territory and its membership, and drives different male vicuñas away from his group. Household groups are closed, excluding non-member males and sometimes even stopping young feminine animals from joining. A family group often numbers 6-10 individuals, according to food availability in its territory. Vicuñas have a feeding territory as well as a separate territory for sleeping. They are diurnal animals, and at night time go as much as their sleeping territory at higher altitudes. Adults that do not lead a herd either change into solitary, or they join a big herd of 30 to one hundred fifty individuals.
Vicuñas are polygynous, the dominant male mating with all mature females from his herd. The mating season begins in March or April. The gestation period is 330 to 350 days, and a single fawn is born. A fawn can stand just 15 minutes after being born. It stays close beside its mother for 8 months or more, persevering with to suckle until the age of 10 months and turning into impartial at around 12 to 18 months of age. Younger males be part of bachelor groups and younger females be a part of a sorority. Females are sexually mature at 2 years and a few are still reproducing at 19 years.
Poaching takes place, the vicuña’s coat and products being smuggled in large amounts to Asia and Europe. Habitat loss as a result of over-grazing from home livestock or human activities, such air pollution of water sources and mining, is a further threat. Local weather change may damage the delicate ecosystem the place the vicuña lives. A recent potential risk, within the Andes as well as worldwide, is the breeding of a vicuña and alpaca hybrid (a pacovicuña) for commercial purposes.
In keeping with the IUCN Red List, the total population measurement of the vicuña is 347,273 people, together with estimates for specific areas: Argentina: 127,072 or seventy two,678 individuals; Bolivia: 62,869 people; Chile: 16,942 individuals; Ecuador: 2,683 people; Peru: 188,327 individuals. Vicuñas’ numbers are growing immediately and they are labeled as least concern (LC) on the list of threatened species.
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