Vicuñas have some of the softest wool in the entire animal kingdom
Vicuña Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Lama vicugna
Vicuña Physical Characteristics
Brown, White
350,000 adults
15-20 years
Vicuña Distribition

The vicuñ a produces some of the finest wool in the world.

A participant of the camel family, the vicuña is possibly lower recognized than its close llama and alpaca family members, however their hair has actually been made use of to make garments for countless years. In the wild, this woollen assists the animal make it through in the freezing environments of the Andean Hills. Adhering to the loss of the Incan Realm, they were pursued unscrupulously for their hair and virtually driven to termination. Today they are safeguarded by Peruvian regulations from too much searching; just specific firms are enabled to make coats, scarves, fits, layers, and various other garments from their hair.

This short article will certainly cover some intriguing truths regarding the recognition, dimension, environment, and diet of the vicuña.

5 Extraordinary Vicuña Truths!

  • Based upon hereditary evaluation, the vicuña is believed to be the wild forefather of the tamed alpaca.
  • The Incans made use of to collect the woollen by capturing and afterwards launching the animal. It was stated that just the emperor himself and the remainder of the nobility were enabled to put on garments made from the woollen. Any individual else captured using garments ran the risk of the execution.
  • The vicuña is still made use of today in unique routines and fertility ceremonies.
  • The vicuña is the informal nationwide animal of Peru.
  • A solitary vicuña might require an area of greater than 8 acres, while the whole herd might have an area incorporating some 42 acres.

Scientific Name

The scientific name of the vicuña is Lama vicugna Vicugna is merely an additional method of creating the Spanish word vicuña. This consequently was obtained from the native Quechua word wik’ uña, which describes the shades of the vicuña. As a family member Camelidae, they share a close connection with wild guanacos, tamed llamas and alpacas, and extra distantly, various other camels. There are 2 identified subspecies of the vicuña in the wild.


The vicuña is characterized by an incredibly lengthy neck, slim legs, large rabbit- like ears, and a stout body. The thick woollen layer, which is much longer around the neck to provide security from the chilly, can be found in white and brownish shades. White is discovered around the tummy and internal legs, whereas brownish and tan shades exist around the back, neck, head, and external legs. Nevertheless, the pigmentation is far more minimal compared to llamas and alpacas, which are available in a much larger array.

Determining anywhere in between 3 and 6 feet long, this animal is thought about to be the tiniest participant of the whole camel family. It has to do with the very same dimension as a little mobility scooter. The recognition in between males and females can be a little difficult due to the fact that they look so similar per various other, however the male does often tend to be bigger.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the vicuña are its lengthy neck and rabbit- like ears.Carlos Sala Fotografia/Shutterstock. com


As a very social species, vicuñas normally develop 3 various type of teams. Family teams, which include around 5 to 15 females and their children, are led by a solitary male that protects his area from burglars. Adolescent males develop tiny bachelor teams soon after they come to be independent. They will certainly continue to be in this team till they are old or solid sufficient to develop their very own area. Older males that are not able to preserve their very own households often tend to develop the 3rd team, the singular herds.

Vicuñas can connect with each various other via a collection of articulations, one of the most vital of which is the alarm system telephone call. While it holds true that any kind of participant of the herd can make an alarm system telephone call, it’s generally done by the leading male, that has a tendency to be over sharp throughout the day. When he makes the telephone call, the remainder of the herd will certainly start fleing while the male brings up the back. As really reluctant and unreliable animals, they fast to take off from risk. Their lengthy ears show up to provide them phenomenal hearing to situate predators, while their eyes have a really large field of vision.

As diurnal animals, they invest most of their day grazing for food throughout their area and afterwards rest during the night. They need a great deal of room to relocate about in, in some cases as long as 8 acres per animal. They note the limits of their area with big public dung loads. Among the various other intriguing truths is that they have the capability to spew similar to llamas and alpacas. This may be done to clarify passages of blockages.


The vicuña is completely belonging to the Andean area of South America. Their indigenous array covers throughout the semi- dry meadows of Peru with smaller sized populaces in Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia. They were later on presented to Ecuador too. They live at incredibly high elevations approximately virtually 16,000 feet.

Predators and Hazards

The regional Andean individuals collected the hair of the vicuña for several centuries without searching and eliminating them (other than to periodically acquire their meat). After the loss of the Incan Realm, nonetheless, the Spanish homesteaders pursued the animal virtually to the factor of termination. Today the species is safeguarded by government regulations, and it normally has couple of dangers in the wild besides its all-natural predators Environment loss is normally not a problem due to the fact that it lives at a high altitude where couple of individuals stay. Nevertheless, as a result of the expense of its hair, prohibited poaching can still be a trouble.

What Consumes the Vicuña?

The puma is thought about to be the primary killer of the vicuña. It is approximated to be in charge of greater than 90% of all grown-up fatalities and fifty percent of all calf bone fatalities. They are additionally in danger of dropping target to Andean condors, Andean foxes, and residential dogs. The vicuña’s initial impulse is to flee and conceal, however if it is really feeling specifically strong, after that it might stand its ground and cost. These animals primarily rely upon the security of the herd for security.

What Does the Vicuña Eat?

The diet of the vicuñ an includes turfs and hedges that expand along the ground. Their particularly adjusted multi- chamber tummy enables them to absorb challenging verdant product in order to remove as several nutrients as feasible. Their diet seems supplemented with minerals from licking rocks and rocks and alcohol consumption deep sea.

Recreation and Life Process

There is some proof to recommend that the vicuña can mate throughout the year, however their primary reproductive period has a tendency to happen in between February and April. The male will certainly mate with any kind of females that reside in his area. He will certainly additionally in some cases go into various other regions and effort to herd females back to his very own. Nevertheless, the males are really watchful regarding protecting their area from any kind of intruding opponents.

Vicuñas will certainly mate with the female laid on the ground and the male standing in addition to her. After a gestation duration lasting regarding 11 months, the female will certainly bring to life a solitary infant each time. Although the mommy will certainly stick with her infant for the following 6 to 10 months, till it’s discouraged from her milk, she will certainly in some cases leave it alone to look after itself, particularly if the mommy is unexpectedly shocked. If they come to be apart, after that the calf bone will certainly make several loud phone call to aid the mommy with recognition. The mommy and infant will certainly continue to be within the male’s area for security while they forage for food, however the daddy offers little straight assistance. Rather, his primary payment is to protect the area and offer a caution when a killer is near.

Females will normally get to sex-related maturation after regarding a year right into their life expectancy, however males might occupy to 3 years to do the very same. As pointed out formerly, the males will certainly leave for a bachelor team after a year, while the females will certainly look for a family herd. The regular life expectancy of this species is anywhere in between 15 and twenty years in the wild. A lot of them will certainly pass away in the initial year of life from predators, hunger, and illness. The weight of the newborn appears to impact the survival price after the initial year.

Vicuña Populace

According to the IUCN Red Checklist, the vicuña is thought about to be a species of least concern. There are an approximated 350,000 fully grown people continuing to be in the wild (with an unidentified variety of calf bones and juveniles). Back in the center of the 20th century, when there were possibly just 6,000 people continuing to be, Peru produced a number of books to safeguard them and afterwards reestablished them to areas where they had actually gone away. Numbers are just thought about to have actually recouped a modest quantity contrasted to the previous elevation, nonetheless.


  1. Animal Diversity Web, Available here:
  2. Britannica, Available here:

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