Frank Logiudice


Found in the highly specialized area of the Gran Chaco, the Chacoan peccary (Catagonis wagneri) is an endangered animal threatened by industrial agriculture. In an attempt to save this species, three C. wagneri were brought to Central Florida Zoo where their health is monitored with great care in an attempt to possibly breed them in the future. While taking care of the other hooved animals, zookeepers are not able to give the peccaries their uninterrupted attention and have turned to help from the University of Central Florida to closely track if their behavior is indicative of a healthy, properly enriched captive peccary. By observing the activity patterns, type of encounters, and signs of stressful behavior in this aggregate of peccaries, it was hoped to be determined how well these peccaries have adapted to captivity with a newly introduced member, and how often they exhibit stressful behavior. Following the installation of the dividing fence, there was a decrease in aggressive behavior between the new and established peccaries, and an increase in the number of positive encounters such as mutual scenting and body rubbing. The eventual decline of aggressive behavior can be attributed to the increased exposure the fence created which allowed for agonistic behavior, such as charging and teeth chattering, to be executed in a safe manner. Socialization was progressively improved between the three as a new hierarchy was developed, eventually leading to group scenting and days where all members of the aggregate rested near each other.

About the Author

Desdemona graduated from UCF in the Fall of 2020 with a B.S. in Biology. They are grateful to have worked with the endangered Chacoan peccary and hope to be able to continue studying animal behavior and conservation in the future.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.