Marsh Deer

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The Marsh Deer, Blastocerus dichotomus (GuaranĂ­: guasu puku), is the largest deer species from South America reaching a length of 2 meters and a height of 1.2 meters at the rump. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Formerly found through all of tropical South America today it is reduced to small isolated populations at marsh and lagoon zones in the basins of the rivers ParanĂ¡ and Paraguay as in the Amazonian region of Peru where it is protected in Bahuaja-Sonehe National Park.

It is listed as a vulnerable species, according to CITES, appendix I.


The Marsh Deer lives only in marsh areas, pantanal and chaco, usually with the water level reaching half a meter deep. They are swift swimmers. The marshes with their high vegetation density protect them from predators and provide them with food.


They possess very large ears lined with white hairs, reddish brown colored body and long dark legs. The hair turns darker during winter. There are also white marks on the hips and around the eyes. The legs are black below the tarsal as is the muzzle. The tail is of a paler reddish tone than the rest of the body on its upper part and black on the under part. It has a length of 10 to 15 cm in adults.

The claw, which is large in relation to the body, has elastic interdigital membranes which are useful for swimming and walking on marshy surfaces. Only the males possess antlers which are ramified and reach a length of...
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