Common Name: Patagonian Mara
Scientific Name: Dolichotis patagonum
Patagonian Mara inhabit grasslands, deserts, forests and scrub areas in Argentina and Chile.
At the zoo: Males: Marty (3y), and Macaroni (6 months). Females: Marigold (5y), Mila (5y), Manola (4y), Manfreda (4y) and Marissa (3m). We have two groups of Mara at the zoo, one group is in the Capybara enclosure and the other group is in the African spurred tortoise enclosure.
In the wild, this species will feed on leaves, seeds, grains, nuts, fruit, and flowers.
Median Life Expectancy:
Conservation Status: Neat Threatened
Patagonian Mara are the second largest of the rodent family, they have dense fur, long legs and long ears. They live in dens and can be found living in large settlements (groups of mara) of up to 30 at a time. However, when traveling during the day, they usually travel in male-female bonded pairs. Male and female pairs bond for life. Monogamy is advantageous for males to ensure they do not miss their chance to breed and beneficial for females who need to focus on caring for their litter of 1-3 pups while the male watches for predators.
Humans present the main threat to this species due to habitat alteration and poaching. The introduction of domestic sheep has resulted in the overgrazing of mara habitat.
Did you know that Patagonian Mara can run up to 45 km/h? Similar to ungulates, Mara have elongated bones in their hind legs which enable them to be fast and efficient runners.