Huemul deer

Species profile

Name: the huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) – or South Andean deer – is an endangered species of deer native to the mountains of Argentina and Chile.

Appearance: huemul deer are adapted to living in difficult, mountainous terrain with stocky bodies, short legs, and long hair to protect against the cold. Their coats are brown with white throats.  Males have antlers, which they shed at the end of each year. They also have a distinctive black ‘face mask’ in the shape of a heart. 

Size: they weigh around 90 kg and measure up to 90 cm tall.

Diet: huemul deer have a wide and varied diet but prefer the buds and tender leaves of herbs, shrubs, bushes, and trees.

Did you know: while they used to be found across much of South America, huemul deer are now highly endangered. The IUCN has estimated that their population has fallen by 99% and their range by 50%. To protect this vulnerable species, Argentina and Chile have set up a historic Memorandum of Association to conserve the huemul deer. The importance of the huemul is recognised by the fact that they are part of Chile’s national coat of arms and, since 2006, are a National Natural Monument.

Location: huemul deer live in the high mountainsides and cold valleys of the Andes. Today, Patagonia is the only place where these deer can be seen.

Where to see Huemul deer

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see huemul deer in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Torres del Paine
Argentina
0%
very low
4.6
very good
5
reports
Los Glaciares
Argentina
0%
very low
4.0
very good
3
reports
Tierra del Fuego
Argentina and Chile
0%
very low
4.0
very good
2
reports

Photo credit: Mariano Mantel under a Creative Commons license from Flickr

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