Azara’s Agouti

Dasyprocta azarae

Agouti are large rodents found in the tropical forests of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.

Azara’s Agoutis diet consists of nuts, fruits and other vegetation. Agoutis are often called “jungle gardeners” because they bury nuts and seeds, then forget where they put them. This aids plants and trees to grow. They are believed to be one of the only animals able to open Brazil nuts!

Agoutis spend a lot of time hiding from predators in the rainforest. If a predator such as a jaguar approaches they may freeze, make an alarm call or raise the long hairs on its rump to scare the enemy away, just like a porcupine.

Azara’s Agoutis have a gestation period of around 90 days. Typically 2-4 young are born in a burrow and will stay with their mother until they can fend for themselves to go and live a solitary lifestyle.

Azara’s agouti are classified by the IUCN Red List as Data Deficient. They are naturally shy creatures, so limited information is available about their wild population. The wild population is, however, the  decreasing leading towards a “Threatened” listing.

Our group of agoutis at Fife Zoo live in a large mixed exhibit with our six-banded armadillos.

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HABITAT

Azara’s agoutis live in tropical rainforests in South America.

DIET

Agoutis diet mainly consists of nuts, fruits and other vegetation.

THREATS

Threats to agoutis include habitat loss and hunting, possibly leading to some local extinctions.

CONSERVATION

DATA DEFICIENT 

They are suspected to be threatened, however there is still very little information on distribution, threats and conservation measures.

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