Mazama americana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Cervidae

Scientific Name: Mazama americana
Species Authority: (Erxleben, 1777)
Common Name(s):
English Red Brocket
Spanish Corzuela Colorado, Corzuela Roja
Moschus americanus Erxleben, 1777
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomy of Mazama americana is still uncertain. Specific doubts concern subspecies number and evolution of subspecies into species. Cabrera (1961) considered there to be nine subspecies (M. a. gualea, M. a. jucunda, M. a. rosii, M. a. rufa, M. a. sarae, M. a. sheila, M. a. whitelyi, M. a. zamora and M. a. zetta). Czernay (1987) added the following six subspecies to Cabrera's list: M. a. temama, M. a. cerasina, M. a. reperticia, M. a. americana, M. a. trinitatis and M. a. carrikeri. On the other hand, Thomas (1913) considered M. zetta and M. sheila as species and not subspecies. Allen (1915) corroborated Thomas, and added M. trinitatis, M. rufa, M. sartorii, M. gualea, M. fuscata and M. zamora as species. M. temama, earlier considered as a subspecies, was reclassified as a separate species by Groves and Grubb (1987), based on cytogenetical studies carried out by other authors. Rossi (2000) did a taxonomic revision of the Mazama genus for Brazil. He did not observe differences between Mazama americana specimens collected from different regions. Cytogenetic analysis of M. americana was initially realized by Taylor et al. (1969), who reported 2n-68 and NF=74. Jorge and Bernirschke (1977) analyzed three M. americana temama and described their basic karyotype as 2n=50 and FN=70, with a chromosome fusion in one of the studied animals. The X chromosome was submetacentric and approximately the same size as chromosome pair 7. The metacentric Y was the smallest chromosome. The vast differences among the animals analyzed by Jorge and Benirschke (1977) and Taylor et al. (1969) raised questions concerning these species’ classification. Neitzel (1987) analyzed a Paraguayan female and described yet another pattern for the species. It had 2n=52, plus 4 to 5 B chromosomes and NF=56. The submetacentric X was the largest chromosome. These results increased doubts as to this species’ karyotypic pattern. More recently, Duarte (1992) analyzed four Brazilian animals, and obtained conflicting results. Diploid numbers were 48, 50, 52 and 54, and NF = 54, 54, 56 and 56, respectively. These results were similar to those obtained by Neitzel (1987). According to Duarte and Merino (1997), this polymorphism appears to indicate the existence of various species within the Red Brocket Deer.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-12-10
Assessor(s): Duarte, J.M.B & Vogliotti, A.
Reviewer(s): Zanetti, E.S.Z. & González, S.
This species is considered to be Data Deficient in light of high taxonomic uncertainty related to the wide karyotypic and morphological variability within the Red Brocket Deer, which may constitute a cryptic-species complex. Until the systematics of this taxa are better understood it is impossible to evaluate it against the categories and criteria of the IUCN Red List. Until we can define distribution and population size we cannot estimate reduction. In addition we have no evidence that this species will persist outside of forested areas. Thus some populations (which may be species or subspecies) are threatened while others are not, and until we understand the taxonomy we do not have enough information to evaluate it against threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Red Brocket Deer distribution ranges across northern South America from northern Argentina (Misiones, Salta, Jujuy, Tucumán, Formosa, Chaco and Corrientes), Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad, Tobago, and Venezuela (Emmons and Feer 1997, Reid 1997, Medellín et al. 1998, Juliá and Richard 2001, Wilson and Redder 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is suspected to be widespread at low density in northern and northwestern Venezuela. In some areas this species has been overhunted (in densely human populated, rural areas) but likely still occurs at natural densities in the vast sparsely populated areas of the Peruvian Amazon.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is the largest species of the Mazama genus. It weighs between 30 and 40 Kg and is 65 cm tall (Duarte, 1996). Ribeiro (1919) and Vieira (1955) believe that this species occurs from Guianas and Peru to Rio Grande do Sul State of Brazil, including Paraguay and Argentina. Junqueira (1940) states that the Red Brocket Deer prefer large forests and riverbanks that are almost always covered with vast vegetation, thereby avoiding the sun. In Argentina, Olrog and Lucero (1981) reported that M. americana inhabits closed fields. As Emmons (1990) stated, this species is adapted to living in forests. According to Bodmer (1997), this species in the Amazon prefer firm, humid forest borders. In the rain forests, Red Brocket Deer are predominantly frugivores with fruit making up around 80% of their diet. During seasonally dry periods the diet of M. americana switches to greater proportions of browse.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Red brockets are the main subsistence hunting deer in neotropical forests and their biomass fourth in importance after peccaries and tapirs. Its meat is sold in rural and urban markets in Peruvian Amazon were their harvest rates are considered within sustainable limits. However, intensive hunting in forestry concessions or small indigenous territories may deplete its populations (Varela et al. 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hunting and habitat destruction represent major threats. The species is hunted for meat throughout much of its range, including several regions where subsistence hunting is legal.  Habitat loss and fragmentation by forest conversion into agricultural and cattle lands is particularly serious for the red brocket deer populations in the Atlantic Forest, Chaco, Brazilian Cerrado and southern Brazilian Amazon. The great scale conversion of native forests into soy bean crops are the main related reason (Varela et al. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in several protected areas across its range. The Red Brocket Deer is one of the focal species in a community-based wildlife management initiative in the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Community Reserve of the Peruvian Amazon.

Citation: Duarte, J.M.B & Vogliotti, A. 2016. Mazama americana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T29619A22154827. . Downloaded on 21 January 2017.
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