South America’s endangered deer

These deers are native to the mountainous regions of South America. The South Andean Huemul is primarily found in the Andes of southern Chile and Argentina, inhabiting temperate forests, shrublands, and alpine meadows. The Taruca, on the other hand, ranges across the Andean highlands from northern Peru through Bolivia to northern Chile and northwestern Argentina, favoring rocky slopes, high-altitude grasslands, and puna regions.

Huemuls are medium-sized deer with robust and sturdy bodies adapted to their rugged mountainous habitats. They have thick, coarse fur that is generally brownish-gray, which helps them blend into their environment. The Taruca is similar in size but has a more compact build. Both species have relatively short legs compared to other deer, which aids in navigating steep and rocky terrain. The males of both species are characterized by their simple, forked antlers, which they shed annually.

These deers are known for their elusive and solitary nature. They are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, often resting in sheltered areas during the heat of the day. These deer are well-adapted to their mountainous habitats, with strong, agile bodies that allow them to navigate steep and rocky terrain with ease. Their thick fur provides insulation against the cold temperatures typical of their high-altitude environments. Additionally, their keen senses of sight and hearing help them detect and evade predators.