Patagonian Cavy

Patagonian Cavy

Patagonian Cavy
Dolichotis patagonum


CLASS
Mammalia
ORDER
Rodentia
FAMILY
Caviidae

Range

Central and southern Argentina


Habitat

Arid grasslands and brushlands with a great deal of open space (region called the pampas in Argentina)


Diet

Grasses and other vegetation

Weight

Up to 25 lbs.

Height

Up to 2 ft.

Length

Up to 3 ft.

Gestation

3 months

Young

1 - 3

IUCN Status

Near Threatened

Facts

  • Also known as "Patagonian mara" or "Patagonian hare"
  • While most time is spent in pairs, large groups will form when grasses and herbs are plentiful.
  • Patagonian cavies may walk or hop like hares or gallop like horses.
  • Vocalize with grunts, grumbles, and screams.
  • Unlike most mammals, cavies are monogomous.
  • As many as 15 cavy pairs will raise their offspring in one communal den (called a creche). Females use scent to locate their young.

 

Conservation

Although it is widespread, its populations are declining due to loss of habitat, competition with large introduced herbivores and hunting, probably at a rate close to 30% over ten years.

Near Threatened
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