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Collared peccaries, also known as javelinas, are adaptable mammals that inhabit a range of environments from the southwestern United States down to northern Argentina. In Costa Rica, these creatures are most commonly found in areas ranging from dry forests, such as those in Guanacaste, to the dense rainforests of the Corcovado National Park. Their ability to thrive in various habitats makes them a frequent sight in both national parks and rural areas.

 

Despite their formidable appearance, with robust bodies and sharp tusks, collared peccaries are generally not dangerous unless provoked. They live in social groups known as squadrons, which enhances their ability to protect themselves against natural predators like coyotes and bobcats, relying on their tusks for defense.

 

Ecologically, collared peccaries are crucial for maintaining the health of ecosystems. As omnivores, their diet includes vegetation, fruits, and small invertebrates, which aids in seed dispersal and controls the population of certain insects and plants. Their foraging behavior helps aerate the soil and distribute nutrients, which supports plant growth and soil fertility. Additionally, as a key species in the food chain, they help maintain the balance by serving as prey for larger predators, indicating a robust and balanced ecosystem.

 

For those interested in observing these intriguing animals in Costa Rica, national parks like Corcovado and Santa Rosa offer excellent opportunities. Their presence in these parks is a testament to Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity and the conservation efforts that help sustain it.

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