Mountain paca

Mountain paca
Scientific classification edit
C. taczanowskii
Binomial name
Cuniculus taczanowskii
(Stolzmann, 1865)

Agouti taczanowskii

The mountain paca (Cuniculus taczanowskii) is a small burrow-dwelling rodent whose habitats are high altitude South American forests. Pacas are nocturnal, sedentary, and solitary animals with territorial tendencies. It eats mostly fruits and seeds. The mountain paca primarily inhabits higher Andean montane forest regions in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

This paca has coarse fur without underfur, dark brown to black on the upper body and white or yellowish on the underbelly. It usually has three to five rows of white spots along its sides, against a dark grey background. It has thick strong legs, with four digits in the forefeet and five in the hind feet (the first and fifth are reduced); the nails function as hooves. The tail is short and hairless. The zygomatic arch is expanded laterally and dorsally and is used as a resonating chamber - a unique feature among mammals.

The mountain paca is hunted for its meat, which is high in calories and is considered a delicacy particularly in rural communities. Due to its quick growth, it may be bred in captivity for commercial use. However, it has a low reproductive capacity and its numbers have been significantly reduced in recent years due to hunting and habitat destruction. It is fairly abundant in protected areas.


  1. ^ Tirira, D.; Boada, C. & Vargas, J. (2008). "Cuniculus taczanowskii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  • Woods, C. A. and C. W. Kilpatrick. 2005. Hystricognathi. Pp 1538–1600 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference 3rd ed. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.
Other Languages
Avañe'ẽ: Paka ka'aguy
български: Планинска пака
한국어: 산파카
magyar: Hegyi paka
Nederlands: Bergpaca
پنجابی: پہاڑی پاکا
polski: Paka górska
српски / srpski: Планинска пака
svenska: Bergspaka
українська: Cuniculus taczanowskii
Tiếng Việt: Cuniculus taczanowskii