Alpacas In Australia
The commercial importation of alpacas into Australia started in the early 1980’s. These majestic animals were initially imported in small numbers, but today the Australian population of alpacas has grown to 150,000, which is the largest registered population outside of South America.
Alpacas are beautiful and intelligent animals, with fleece of outstanding quality. Alpaca fleece is in demand for fashion and home wares throughout the world. Natural and clean, alpaca fleece is grown in 22 colours ranging from white to pure black.
Alpacas are an environmentally sensitive animal, having a soft padded foot, which is gentle on pastures. They do not attract parasites and thereby do not require chemical drenching like sheep. Alpacas are significantly more efficient feeders compared to sheep, cattle and even kangaroos.
Intrinsically beautiful and enchanting, alpacas are curious by nature and can easily be bred with sheep in the same pastures. Indeed, there are many stories of alpacas protecting sheep from predators such as foxes and local wolves.
Alpacas are passive, intelligent animals who will happily live in domesticated environments with other animals and humans, especially children.
Alpacas have adapted very well to the Australian climate and geography and can be found in all regions of Australia, from the warmer northern tropics to the cooler southern regions, mainly along the populated eastern sea board regions.
Some Australian breeders own a few alpacas, mainly as pets, while more commercial alpaca breeders may have hundreds and in a few cases, thousands of animals.
While the Australia population of 150,000 alpacas may appear to be a large number, they are in fact quite a rare animal in comparison to the eighty million sheep in Australia.
With the Australian annual production of approximately 150 tonnes of alpaca fleece in all grades and qualities, Australian grown alpaca fleece is extremely rare so the demand for alpaca fleece significantly exceeds supply.