Catagonus wagneri (Rusconi, 1930:231)

Chacoan peccary, Chaco peccary, Giant Chaco peccary, Tagua



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Platygonus (Parachoerus) carlesi wagneri Rusconi, 1930:231; Platygonus wagneri (Rusconi, 1930:231)


Conservation Status

Last record: subfossil

Rediscovered in 1971; 1974 (Thornback & Jenkins, 1982:451)

IUCN RedList status: Endangered


Originally described in 1930 from pre-Hispanic archaeological remains, it was discovered as a living animal in 1971 (Wetzel et al. 1975).



Chaco area, Paraguay (western), Bolivia (southeastern) & Argentina (northern)


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Rusconi, C. (1930). Las especies fósiles argentinas de pecaries (Tayassuidae) y sus relaciones con las del Brasil y Norte America. An. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. "Bernardino Rivadavia" 36: 121-241.


Other references:

Altrichter, M. 2005. The sustainability of subsistence hunting of peccaries in the Argentine Chaco. Biological Conservation 126: 351–362.

Altrichter, M. 2006. Interacciones entre la gente y la fauna en el Chaco Argentino. Secretaria de ambiente y desarrollo sostenible, Wildlife Trust, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Altrichter, M. and Boaglio, G.I. 2004. Distribution and relative abundance of peccaries in the Argentine Chaco: associations with human factors. Biological Conservation 116: 217-225.

Altrichter M, Desbiez A, Camino M and Decarre J. 2016a. Pecarí del Chaco o Tagua (Catagonus wagneri). Una estrategia para su conservación. UICN/SSC Grupo de Especialistas en Pecaríes, Asunción.

Altrichter M, Saldívar S, Decarre J, Camino M, Yanosky A, Campos Krauer JM, Desbiez A, Leus K, Ferraz KM, Silva Angelieri CC, Cuéllar RL, Arévalos F, Cartes JL, Giordano AJ, Thompson J, Velilla M, Torres R, Neris N and Cabral H. 2016b. Situación de conservación del pecarí del Chaco o Tagua (Catagonus wagneri): Distribución, aptitud de hábitat y viabilidad poblacional. Paraquaria Natural 4(2): 30­39.

Altrichter, M., Taber, A., Noss, A., Maffei, L. and Campos, J. (2014). Catagonus wagneri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1. ( Downloaded on 21 June 2015.

Benirschke, K. B., Byrd, M.L. and Meritt, D. 1990. New observations on the Chacoan peccary, Catagonus wagneri. Krakow Meeting of Zoo Pathologists: 5 pp.

Benirschke K and Heuschele WP. 1993. Proyecto Tagua: the Giant Chaco peccary Catagonus wagneri conservation project. International Zoo Yearbook 32: 28­31.

Benirschke, K. B. et al. (1985). Chromosomes of the Chacoan peccary, Catagonus wagneri (Rusconi). J. Hered. 76: 95-98.

Brooks, D.M. 1992. Reproductive behaviour and development of the young of the chacoan peccary (Catagonus wagneri Rusconi, 1930), in the Paraguayan Chaco. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 57: 316-317.

Byrd, M.L., Benirschke, K.B. and Gould, G.C. 1988. Establishment of the first captive group of the Chaco peccary, Catagonus wagneri. Zoologische Garten 58: 265-274.

Caballero J, Palacios F, Arévalos F, Rodas O, Yanosky A. 2014. Cambio de uso de la tierra en el Gran Chaco Americano en el año 2013. Paraquaria Natural 2(1): 21­28.

Camino, Micaela et al. (2022). Less than six generations to save the chacoan peccary. Biodiversity and Conservation 31: 413-432.

Gasparini, G.M., Ubilla, M., Tonni, E.P., 2012, The Chacoan peccary, Catagonus wagneri (Mammalia, Tayassuidae), in the late Pleistocene (northern Uruguay, South America): paleoecological and paleobiogeographic considerations: Historical Biology, 1-13.

Janis, Christine M. (1990). Correlation of cranial and dental variables with dietary preferences in mammals: a comparison of macropodoids and ungulates. Mem. Qd. Mus. 28(1): 349-366.

Kurowski, Desdemona (2021) "A Behavioral Study of Chacoan Peccaries (Catagonis wagneri) in a Zoo
Environment," The Pegasus Review: UCF Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 14 : Iss. 1 , Article 3.
Available at:

Maffei, L., Cullar, R.L. and Banegas, J. 2008. Distribución del Solitario (Cataognus wagneri) en Bolivia. Ecología en Bolivia 43(2): 141-145.

Mayer, John J. and Brandt, P.N. 1982. Identity, distribution, and history of the peccaries, Tayassuidae. In: M. A. Mares and H. H. Genoways (eds), Mammalian Biology in South America, pp. 433-455. Special Publications Series, Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecolology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA.

Mayer, John J. and Wetzel, Ralph. M. (1989). Catagonus wagneri. Mammalian Species 259: 1-5.

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Neris, N., Colman, F., Ovelar, E., Sukigara, N. and Ishii, N. 2002. Guia de Mamiferos Medianos y Grandes del Paraguay. Distribucion, Tendencia Poblacional y Utilización. Secretaria del Ambiente, Agenica de Cooperación Internacional del Japón, Asunción, Paraguay.

New York Times, 7 September, 1975

Olrog, C. C. et al. (1976). Catagonus wagneri (Rusconi) en el noroeste Argentino.  Neotropica 22: 53-66.

Paolasso, P., Krapovickas J. and Gasparri, N.I. 2012. Deforestación, expansión agropecuaria y dinámica demográfica en el Chaco Seco Argentino durante la década de los noventa. Latin American Research Review 47: 35-63.

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Redford, K.H. and Eisenberg, J.F. 1992. Mammals of the Neotropics, The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Rusconi, C. (1948). Restos de platigonos y malformaciones óseas procedentes de los túmulos indigenas de Santiago del Estero. Rev. Mus. Hist. Nata. Mendoza 2: 231-239.

Simpson, George Gaylord. (1984). Mammals and cryptozoology. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 128(1): 1-19.

Smith, Paul. (2019). An observation of water-bathing in Chaco Peccary. Suiform Soundings 18(1): 7-8.

Sowls, L. K. 1984. The Peccaries. The University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, Arizona, USA.

Sowls, L. K. 1997. Javelinas and Other Peccaries: Their Biology, Management, and Use. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX, USA.

Taber, A.B. 1989. Pig from green hell. Animal Kingdom 92(4): 20-27.

Taber, A.B. 1991. The status and conservation of the Chacoan peccary in Paraguay. Oryx 25(3): 147-155.

Taber, A.B. 1993. The Chacoan peccary (Catagonus wagneri). In: W.L.R. Oliver (ed.), Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, pp. 22-28. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Taber, A.B., Doncaster, C.P., Neris, N.N. and Colman, F. 1994. Ranging behaviour and activity patterns of two sympatric peccaries, Catagonus wagneri and Tayassu tajacu, in the Paraguayan Chaco. Mammalia 58: 61-71.

Taber, A.B., Doncaster, C.P., Neris, N.N. and Colman, F.H. 1993. Ranging behavior and population dynamics of the Chacoan peccary, Catagonus wagneri. Journal of Mammalogy 74(2): 443-454.

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Torres, Ricardo, Tamburini, Daniela, Lescano, Julián and Rossi, Enzo. (2017). New records of the Endangered Chacoan peccary Catagonus wagneri suggest a broader distribution than formerly known. Oryx 51(2): 286­-289. [Abstract]

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Wetzel, R. M. (1977b). The extinction of peccaries and a new case of survival. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 288: 538-544.

Wetzel, R. M. (1981a). The hidden Chacoan peccary. Carnegie Magazine 55: 24-32.

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Wetzel, R. M., Brandt, P. N. and Mayer II, J. J. (n.d.?). Studies on Catagonus wagneri. Supported by World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic Society, Univ. Connecticut Research Foundation, and Carnegie Museum of Nat. Hist. Unpublished.

Wetzel, R. M., Dubos, R. E., Martin, R. L. and Myers, P. (1975). Catagonus, an "extinct" peccary alive in Paraguay. Science 189: 379-381. [Abstract]

Yahnke, C., Unger, J., Lohr, B., Meritt, D. and Heuschele, W. 1997. Age specific fecundity, litter size and sex ratio in the Quimilero (Catagonus wagneri). Zoo Biology 16: 301-302.


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