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Keywords:

  • Tayassu pecari;
  • Tayassu tajacu;
  • reproduction;
  • Amazonian ecosystem

Abstract

White-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) and collared peccaries (Tayassu tajacu) are common ungulates of Amazonia that are integral to the ecosystem and are important sources of meat for local people. Information on the reproduction and productivity of peccaries is essential for implementing management practices that conserve peccary populations over short and long time-scales. This paper examines the reproductive biology of white-lipped and collared peccaries in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon in and around the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Community Reserve. Skulls and reproductive tracts of white-lipped and collared peccary were examined from hunted samples collected by local people, as part of a participatory wildlife management programme. In this Amazonian site both white-lipped and collared peccaries were in follicular and luteal stages year round. Similarly, conceptions, births and pregnancies were aseasonal for both species. Of white-lipped peccary females, 32.4% were pregnant (n= 219 adult females examined) compared with 46% of collared peccary females (n= 89 adult females examined). Overall, gross productivity was 0.53 foetuses/adult female for white-lipped peccaries and 0.89 foetuses/adult female for collared peccaries. Gross fecundity (number of female young produced/number of adult females) was 0.26 for white-lipped peccaries and 0.37 for collared peccaries. The estimated parturition–conception interval was 250 days (192–331 at the 90% confidence interval) for white-lipped peccaries and 129 days (80–205 at the 90% confidence interval) for collared peccaries. This study shows that reproductive productivity of white-lipped peccary is lower than collared peccary in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon. This difference in reproductive productivity has implications for management strategies, and suggests that white-lipped peccaries are more susceptible to the effects of hunting than collared peccaries.