The foreign animals of Peru are species originating from other countries that man has introduced to that nation. The impact on the local, regional or national ecology of these new species is variable.
Some species could contribute, among other things, to pest control, being considered highly beneficial as they represent a natural alternative to chemical pesticides. In other cases, such as the European hare, its population has grown disproportionately, affecting agricultural plantations in the region.
European hare. Source: © Hans Hillewaert /
The introduction, by man, of species to a habitat other than the native one can occur accidentally or intentionally.
The man could carry out this action deliberately, thinking or not of the benefits that these new breeds of animals possibly generate. The motivations for this could be economic, ecological and enjoyable, among others.
The accidental introduction is possibly related to human movements or migrations, where these animals are unintentionally taken to another country.
Examples of foreign animals from Peru
This perissodactyl mammal is native to North America and belongs to the equidae family. It is a herbivore that has been domesticated by man and introduced to almost every continent. The horse reached the American continent in 1493, during the second voyage of Christopher Columbus.
The arrival of this species in Peru was in charge of Pizarro, in 1532. At that time, and even today, the horse was used as a pack and transport animal.
The cow ( Bovidae taurus ) is a species native to Europe. This artiodactyl mammal is part of the Bovidae family, which includes the vast majority of modern species of beef and dairy cattle.
In the mid-16th century, the Spanish introduced cattle to Peru. It was used as a meat and milk producing animal, and for plowing in agriculture. Also, leather and horns were used in the elaboration of clothing and some utilitarian articles.
Although there are various theories about the origin of this placental mammal, the vast majority agree that the original distribution of this species includes Europe, North Africa and Asia.
In this way the current domestic breeds arose, product of the cross between the Asian wild pig and the European species. Iberian pigs were introduced to Central America in 1943, where they later expanded to various South American regions, including Peru.
They are raised for the consumption of their meat and some other derivatives, such as bacon. In addition, it provides the raw material for the production of ham.
rooster and hen
Gallus gallus domesticus is the scientific name of this domestic subspecies, belonging to the genus Gallus. The species is native to Southeast Asia and arrived in America on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus.
Chickens are raised primarily for their meat and eggs. Chicken is one of the most exploited and commercialized animals in the world. The main cause of this is the short time it takes to develop and the amount of food it produces.
The common rabbit is a rodent mammal from Central Asia, from where it migrated to Europe. It was brought to America from Spain in 1493, during the voyages of conquest of Christopher Columbus.
This animal is prolific, so its young have become popular for its skin, meat and hair. In Peru there are foreign breeds that are part of rabbit farming. These include:
-Giant of Flanders, of Belgian origin. They are white or gray in color and can weigh up to 8 kilograms. It is categorized as an excellent meat producing breed.
-California rabbit, originally from California, United States. Its fur is white, with black ears, nose, tail and legs. It is an excellent meat producing animal. Its dense coat is prized by breeders.
-New Zealand rabbit. Despite this name, he hails from California. They can be gold, white or black in color. Its growth is quite fast, weighing 4.5 kilograms.
The domestic dog ( Canis lupus familiaris ) is a mammal native to Europe that is part of the Canidae family. When the Spanish arrived in America, in 1493, a domestic species with similar characteristics already existed on the continent.
The pre-Columbian dog arrived in America when men crossed the Bering Strait. Recent research suggests that the Peruvian hairless dog would have that pre-Columbian heritage.
The goat is a domesticated animal. Breeding is done for meat, skin and milk. Its fiber has a lot of commercial value for the textile industry.
This placental mammal belongs to the Bovidae family and the wild species is native to Asia. From there they colonized part of Africa and Europe. Some species of goats raised in Peru are:
-Nubian. It is native to Egypt, it adapts easily to the arid conditions of the habitat. This breed is one of those that reaches the highest live weight, the male could weigh 76 kilograms and the female 64 kilograms.
-Saanen. This species of Swiss origin is highly producer of milk. The average milk between 275 and 300 days is between 880 and 990 kilos.
It is a webbed bird native to China. It currently lives in almost all regions of the world. In Peru there are the following foreign species:
-Peking Duck. Also known as White Pekingese, it is an American species that is bred especially for its meat.
-Khaki Campbel Duck. It is a breed of domestic duck created in England. It is known for its high ability to lay eggs.
-Indian running duck, also known as penguin duck. It is native to Southeast Asia, later it comes to England and the United States to improve its condition as a layer of eggs.
Lepus europaeus is a lagomorphic mammal native to Europe. It was introduced to Peru in approximately 1888, currently living in the departments of Cusco, Tacna, Puno, Moquegua and Arequipa.
The European hare is considered by the Ministry of the Environment of Peru as an invasive foreign species, because it threatens the biodiversity of the region and the agricultural activities of the south of the country.
This ruminant mammal is very possibly a descendant of the wild mouflon of Asia and Europe. It was one of the first animals that man domesticated, in order to use their milk, meat and wool. This is the animal fiber most used in the manufacture of textiles.
Some of the species that have been introduced to Peru are:
-Hampshire down. Originally from England. It is medium in size, its body is compact, with black legs and face. It is a breed with excellent meat characteristics.
-Morada nova. Coming from Brazil, this animal has red and white fur. Some of these specimens are found in Iquitos.
-Blackbelly. This sheep is native to the island of Barbados. It has no horns and its body is reddish brown, with the exception of the belly and legs which are black. It is medium in size and its fertility is high, with an average of two lambs per calving.
-Pelibuey. It is originally from the island of Cuba. It presents a variety of colors, the most frequent being beige and white, in addition to cherry red. It is a very prolific breed.
Wikipedia (2019). Introduced species. Recovered from en.wikipedia.org.
Judith de Jorge (2013). Dogs originated in Europe more than 18,000 years ago. ABC science. Recovered from abc.es.
John A. Bukowskim (2018). Description and Physical Characteristics of Horses. Veterinary Manual. Recovered from vetmanual.com
José A. Atto Mendives (2007). Importance of tropical sheep introduced to the country: productive and reproductive characteristics. Recovered from bioline.org.br
Ministry of the Environment of Peru (2015). Invasive alien species? Learn about the case of the European hare in Peru and contribute to the actions for its control. Recovered deminam.gob.pe.
CARE, Peru – SEDER (2000). Raising and management of sheep. Recovered from infolactea.com.