The Capybara is abundant in the Ibera Marshes especially close to bodies of water. They are generally timid mammals but can become quite tame with familiarity. We have dozens of these iconic animals in our garden, especially at night and have to take drastic precautions to protect our trees and shrubs.
They are the largest living rodents and iconic of the Ibera marshes. They can measure more than 1m in length and weigh up to 50kg and have webbed feet with distintive foot-prints. They have large families and the females can breed twice per year producing up to seven or eight young per litter. They are social animals and are usually seen in family groups, sometimes consisting of 20 or more. They spend a lot of time submerged in the water and can be quite well camouflaged as their eyes, ears and nose are all close to the top of the head.
They are good swimmers whose diet consists of grasses, aquatic plants and roots. When startled they make a loud dog-like bark and will usually retreat to nearby water although not at any great speed. They are known as Carpincho in Argentina.
Threats come from large cats such a the Jaguar and Puma and habitat loss.