viernes, 29 de agosto de 2008

La Vicuña


Es el más grácil, pequeño y hermoso de los camélidos sudamericanos.

Posee la lana más fina del mundo y estuvo en peligro de extinción debido a su cacería indiscriminada.

Al iniciarse la conquista existían unos dos millones de vicuñas, hoy su población sólo alcanza las cien mil.

Perú posee el 80% de la población mundial de estos camélidos. Cabe mencionar que en los inicios del proceso de recuperación de esta especie, en el año 1964, apenas quedaban 5,000 ejemplares.

Actualmente, diversas comunidades alto-andinas poseen hatos propios de vicuñas, las que pueden ser esquiladas varias veces a través del "Chaccu anual", sin tener que sacrificarlas.

Nombre científico: Vicugna vicugna Familia: Camelidae
Nombres comunes: Vicuña; wik´uña en lengua quechua.



Descripción Morfológica:
La vicuña mide 1.50 m de alto y 90 cm de largo, en promedio; pesa entre 30 y 50 kilos, sus ojos son bellos y enormes y posee un cuello largo y delgado que le caracteriza. Su pelaje es de color canela en el lomo y, su vientre y pecho, donde está el vellón, es casi blanco.

La fibra de vicuña es la más fina del mundo, cada animal produce entre 50 y 100 gramos de lana, en hebras de 4 a 8 cm de largo, comparables sólo con los finos pelos del castor y las cabras del Himalaya.

Estos camélidos viven formando manadas de 6 a 15 hembras, dirigidas por un solo macho que vela por su seguridad y da un silbido de alerta a la menor señal de peligro.

Las hembras tienen una cría a los 10 meses de gestación. Se alimentan de hierbas que comen durante todo el día. Viven entre 12 y 15 años. Las vicuñas logran alcanzar una velocidad de hasta 45 kms por hora, lo que le permite escapar de sus depredadores como el puma y el zorro.

Piso Ecológico:
La vicuña es oriunda de los Andes del Perú, Ecuador y Bolivia. En Perú vive en estado silvestre en la Serranía Esteparia y la Puna hasta los 5200 msnm.


Antecedentes Históricos:
En épocas prehispánicas, los antiguos peruanos protegieron a la vicuña, su caza era permitida sólo cada cuatro años y en general se respetaba a las hembras.

Era considerado un animal sagrado que estaba ligado a los dioses, por ello el vellón de vicuña sólo era usado por la realeza incaica en la confección de sus vestimentas.

A la llegada de los españoles al Perú, encontraron en los depósitos o colcas, gran cantidad de ropa confeccionada con pelo de vicuña de gran finura, pues éstas se usaban sólo para vestir, premiar u obsequiar a la realeza, estas vestimentas eran confeccionadas exclusivamente en los Acllahuasis por las vírgenes del Sol o hijas de la nobleza.

Actualmente, la vicuña está considerada como una de las riquezas naturales más importantes del Perú, por ello está representada en el Escudo Nacional.

Cita de Cronista:
"La vicuña es un animal silvestre menor que la llama..... de pescuezo largo y delgado, y la parte alta del cuerpo y mayor parte dél de un color rubio que tira a leonado claro, con el vientre blanco y parte inferior del pecho. Son todas las vicuñas deste color; andan en manadas y muchas veces se ven paciendo cada una de por sí. Críanse no más que en las serranías del Perú, en los más helados páramos, entre las cordilleras nevadas. Son los animales más sueltos y ligeros que se conocen.... " B. Cobo (IX, 58)


Mito o Leyenda:
En la época Incaica, tenían reservados unos pastos especialmente para las vicuñas, llamados Yntipmayan nayru acllia y en estos campos tenían ganados, pastos y sementeras donde paseaban las vicuñas, a las cuales llamaba Yntipllaman o ¨Vicuña sagrada¨.

Sólo la realeza podía vestir con lana de vicuña, como se observaba en el ritual de la emperatriz Inca, quien llevaba una túnica azul, rosa, amarilla o anaranjada que caía hasta los pies, ceñidas por dos bandas de telas decoradas, una generalmente roja en la cintura, y la otra de diversos colores en la parte inferior.

Se colocaba una manta sobre los hombros, cruzada sobre el pecho y retenida por un alfiler de gruesa cabeza labrada, llamada Tupu. Calzaba sandalias de lana blanca de vicuña; una fina mantilla sujeta en lo alto de la cabeza caía libremente a la espalda sobre sus largos cabellos. Una acompañante llevaba el parasol de plumas.

Situación de la Especie:
La vicuña es una especie que se encuentra en situación vulnerable en el Perú, la legislación prohíbe su cacería en todo el territorio peruano.

Está incluida en el Apéndice I del CITES, según el Libro Rojo de la Fauna Silvestre del Perú y también por Decreto Supremo 013 - 99 - AG, del Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales - INRENA.

Actualmente está protegida en el Parque Nacional Huascarán y en las Reservas Nacionales de Junín, Pampa Galeras en Ayacucho y Salinas y Aguada Blanca en Arequipa.

Fuente: Museo de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia de Perú




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