In our collection
Here at the Highland Wildlife Park we have a small bachelor group of vicunas.
Where to see them
They can be found in the Main Reserve, with additional viewing on the walkway out to the female polar bear enclosure.
Threats and conservation
Vicuna were hunted almost to extinction for their wool and meat until the 1960s when Chile and Peru created protected national parks and stopped trade in vicuna wool. Since then, the population has steadily increased.
Despite this, the future of the vicuna is far from certain. The IUCN notes, "Conservation programmes and tight control at local, national and international levels are key for the conservation of the species. Given the degree of poaching, the development of captive management schemes, economic interests for hybridizing vicunas and alpacas, uncertainties about the impact of climate change on the already poor vicuna habitat, and the deterioration of grasslands due to overgrazing by domestic livestock, unless conservation actions are in place, the species’ status might decline again."