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Wildlife Diversity

Alpaca are the workhorses of the Andes
Source: Thomas Muller, Lima, Peru
Alpaca in the Andes

Alpacas and Llamas: The alpaca and the llama are the two animals most closely associated with the Andes. These two species are domestic livestock. There are two wild species, the huanuco and the vicuņa. In the past few decades, there has been lots of interest in the alpaca and llama in the United States because of its unique characteristics, breeding potential and wool.

For decades, the alpaca wool industry has shown potential for providing a steady income for the most impoverished part of the country, the high Andes. But it has never really taken off. The wool merchants of Arequipa seem to keep the trade under their fingers.

AlpacaInfo ::: Llamas ::: LlamaWeb ::: AlpacaNet ::: Michelle & Cia ::: Bonny Doon Alpacas

Birds and Mammals of Latin America

Guinea Pig: Just walk into the kitchen of any Andean villager and you will find these furry creatures scurrying under your feet. They are a combination of household pet, garbage disposal and source of rare protein in the Andes. Where Guinea Pigs are Cool has just about all you need to know about this mainstay of the Andean household. Includes "The Guinea pig in the Andean economy: from household animal to market commodity" by Edmundo Morales (1994).

Also see Feeding the Poor: Improving Household Production of Guinea Pigs in Peru by Katherine Morrow, an IDRC study ::: Fiesta for six: one guinea pig