The Marsh Deer
, Blastocerus dichotomus
: 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
. 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 Paraná 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
, 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... Read More