Collared Peccary - Pecari tajacu
The collared peccary has a pig-like snout, a large head and shoulders, and small legs with hoofed feet. It has grizzled and bristly gray and brown fur. It has a collar of white or yellowish fur around its neck and small, straight tusks. It is 2-3 feet in length and stands about 1.5-2 feet tall. It has a musk gland at the top of its rump. It uses its musk to identify members of its group and to mark its territory. It is sometimes called the javelina.
The collared peccary can be found in southeastern Arizona, extreme southeastern and southwestern New Mexico, and southwest Texas south to Argentina.
The collared peccary lives in brushy desert areas and rocky canyons. It is usually found near a water source.
The collared peccary travels in herds looking for food like fruit, nuts, berries, cacti, and grass. It also roots in the ground for fungi, roots, and bulbs. Occasionally it eats insects, reptiles, and amphibians. It is especially fond of agave and prickly pear. In fact, it gets some of the water it needs from the prickly pear.
The collared peccary lives in herds of between 6-30 individuals. The dominant male of the herd mates with the females as they come into heat. If more than one female comes into heat at the same time, another male may mate with her.
In the summer, the collared peccary is active at night when the temperature is cooler. During the day, it beds down in the shade under a bush, boulder, or in a cave to stay cool. In the winter, it is more active in the day. At night, it often beds down with other peccaries to stay warm.
The peccary is territorial, and members of the group defend their territory from other peccaries. A peccary warns off an intruder by laying back its ears and chattering its teeth. If that doesn't work, it may charge head first at the intruder and bite it or even lock jaws with it.