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Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna)

Description of the animal

Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna)


The vicuña is the smallest member of the camel family, known for its fine wool. They have a slender body covered with soft, cinnamon-colored wool and lighter underparts, as well as a small, elegant head with large, expressive eyes.


Vicuñas are native to the Andes of South America, found in Peru, northwestern Argentina, Bolivia, and northern Chile.


They inhabit the high alpine areas of the Andes, where they graze on the sparse vegetation available at these altitudes.


Vicuñas are wild animals that live in family-based groups consisting of a dominant male, several females, and their young. They are known for their gentle and skittish nature.


They primarily feed on grasses and herbs, which are abundant in their mountainous habitat.


During the breeding season, the dominant male mates with the females of his group. After a gestation period of about 11 months, a single calf is born.


Historically, vicuñas were hunted extensively for their fine wool, leading to a severe decline in their population. Conservation efforts have helped their numbers recover, but they are still threatened by poaching and habitat loss.

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