STATUSUndetermined - Domestic Species


DIETGrasses, leaves, stems, and bark

RANGENative to Southern Colombia and Ecuador to Northern Chile and Argentina, but are now globally domesticated

HABITATHigh-altitude grasslands and plateaus


Physical Description

The alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. They resemble a small llama in appearance. The adult alpaca reached about 3 feet in height and 154 pounds in weight. Alpacas come in a variety of colors ranging from white to black and brown. They have long, slender necks and fleece that is soft and cool to the touch.


Their predators can include domestic dogs, Andean foxes, Andean condors, pumas, colocolos, Andean mountain cats, coyotes, and wolves.


In the wild, they live approximately 5-10 years, but in human care, they live about 15 to 20 years.


Alpacas are induced ovulators and can breed at any time of the year. After a gestation period of approximately 335 days, the female will give birth to a single baby, known as a cria. They are usually weaned at about 6 months of age.

Fun Facts

  • They are too small to be used as pack animals and are bred exclusively for their fiber and meat. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, such as wool.
  • It is believed alpacas were domesticated around 6,000 years ago by native people in South America.

Conservation Messaging

Goats as well as barnyard animals are commonly kept as pets on farms and ranches. It is always best to do your research before moving forward with purchasing any livestock. These animals require different needs from say your dog or cat.

For instance, most livestock animals are herd animals so having one is not an acceptable option. As always, every animal has individual needs that must be met in order to provide the best possible welfare which means you will need a veterinarian that specializes in hoofstock.

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