The White-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) in the region of Emas National Park

Realized in Emas National park, this study aimed at investigating ecology and evaluating conservation status of the White-lipped peccary and propose management strategies for the species in the region.

White-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) live in groups of up to 300 individuals and as seed predators and dispersers, are an important species in maintaining the ecological equilibrium. They are known by agriculturists in the region of Emas National Park as a “plague”, due to the damage they cause to corn plantations, and often are killed in retaliation to this damage. The objective of these projects, implemented between 2000 and 2004, was to study the species’ ecology and evaluate its conservation status in the study region, as well as propose management actions for the local white-lipped peccary population.

The project Ecology, management and conservation of the White-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) in Emas National Park and surrounding rural properties, captured 532 peccarries of 16 different groups (were captured). Through radio-telemetry, 13 groups were monitored and their average home range was estimated at 52.29 km². The animals were most active at the end of the afternoon and at night, alternating between fragments of native cerrado vegetation and plantations. To evaluate the damage these animals cause, the project Impact of white-lipped peccaries on agricultural production in the surroundings of Emas National Park was implemented. White-lipped peccaries were observed to feed mainly on corn and soy bean plantations. As a way to manage this conflict, the project proposed electric fences to reduce damage and the commercial breeding of peccaries, where some wild animals form the initial breeding group, turning the species into a potential economic source for the agriculturist.

Through analyses of blood samples collected during capture, the project Genetic and population structure of white-lipped peccaries in cerrado fragments in the surroundings of Emas National Park discovered a genetic differentiation between the different groups of peccaries, although they live in close proximity.

Being one of the main prey species of the jaguar, studying the white-lipped peccary population is an important part of conservation efforts for the jaguar in the region of Emas National Park.

Read more:

Jácomo, A. T. A. 2004. , Ecology, management and conservation of the White-lipped peccary Tayassu pecari in Emas National Park and rural properties in its surroundings. Ph.D. thesis, University of Brasília, Brasília, Brazil, 120p (in Portuguese)