South Andean deer

South America


Hippocamelus bisulcus


It is highly targeted by hunters for its meat for human and dog consumption. Other contributing factors to population decline include competition for food with the introduced red deer (Cervus elaphus) and domestic animals as well as loss of native habitat range due to fire and erosion.

The South Andean Deer is Chile’s National Animal and can be found on the country’s coat of arms. It belongs to the Hippocamelus genus and can be known for its five other names, the most popular of which is Southern Guemal.

This hoofed ruminant mammal is well-adapted to the rough terrain of the mountains of Chile and Argentina. While male adults prefer to forage on per-glacial grassland environments, females are usually found on steep cliffs or bluffs.

A very shy and secretive deer species that loves to eat Gunnera plant, it exhibits sexual dimorphism. Bucks are 90 kg and 90 cm in weight and height, respectively, while does are 10 kg lighter and 10 cm shorter. All adults can be identified by its dark brown coat, white hued throat, and donkey-like ears. However, only bucks have antlers and a black-hued, almost heart-shaped stripe across its face.