Ozotoceros bezoarticus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Cervidae

Scientific Name: Ozotoceros bezoarticus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Pampas Deer
Spanish Venadillo, Ciervo de las Pampas, Ciervo Pampero, Gama, Venadito, Venado, Venado Campero, Venado de Campo, Venado de las Pampas
French Goazu, Cerf des Pampas
Cervus bezoarticus Linnaeus, 1758
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomy and systematics of the Pampas Deer have been based primarily on morphological data. Five subspecies are recognized:

O. b. bezoarticus
(Linnaeus, 1758), in the Cerrado ranging from eastern and central Brazil, south of the Amazon river between the plateau of Mato Grosso and the upper San Francisco river. While there is a population further north on the island of Marajo, at the mouth of the Amazon River (Rossetti and de Toledo 2006).

O. b. celer Cabrera, 1943, inhabiting the entire Argentinean pampas from the Atlantic coast to Sub Andean foothills and southward to the Rio Negro basin.

O. b. leucogaster (Goldfüss, 1817), located in the seasonally flooded grasslands of southwestern Brazil in southern Mato Grosso, southeastern Bolivia, Paraguay and in the Chaco savannas in northern Argentina (northern Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe, Formosa and Corrientes).

O. b. arerunguaensis González, Álvares-Valin and Maldonado, 2002. Type locality - Uruguay; northwestern Salto Department, Arerunguá, El Tapado, 31º41’51”S, 56º43’31”W.

O. b. uruguayensis González, Álvares-Valin and Maldonado, 2002. Type locality - Uruguay, grasslands of eastern Rocha Department, Sierra de Los Ajos, 33º50’01”S; 54º01’34”W.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-10-01
Assessor(s): González, S., Jackson, III, J.J. & Merino, M.L.
Reviewer(s): Zanetti, E.S.Z.
The species is listed as Near Threatened as it almost qualifies for listing in a threatened category under criterion A2c. This is based on an inferred population decline as a result of habitat loss, which may have approached 20-25% over the last ten years. Habitat conversion to agriculture and cattle farming, and hunting and persecution by feral dogs are constant threats, and the species is confined to a human dominated landscape with only patches of remaining habitat. The former Pampas Deer range has been dramatically reduced from 95 to 99% of the original habitat in the last century. Today less than 1% of the habitat remains (González 1993, 1996). Although the Pampas Deer is adaptable to some degree of habitat modification, it should be monitored to ensure rates of decline do not increase. Habitat fragmentation is a serious threat to the existing population (González 2004, González et al. 2010).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Pampas Deer occurs in insular populations in western, northern, and central Argentina, eastern Bolivia, central and southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Prior to the 1800s, the species was abundant throughout the grasslands of South America (Wemmer 1998, González et al. 2010). The Pampas Deer was a widespread species occupying a range of open habitats, including grasslands, pampas and the Brazilian savanna known as the Cerrado, in eastern South America from 5º to 41ºS (Cabrera 1943, Jackson 1987, Merino et al. 1997, González et al. 1998, 2002, González 2004, Weber and González 2003, González et al. 2010). However, the area encompassed by these habitats has been dramatically reduced to less than 1% of that present in 1900 (González et al. 1998). Currently, Pampas Deer populations are generally small and highly isolated (Jackson and Langguth 1987; González et al. 1998, 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Paraguay; Uruguay
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is not update information of total population size there are partial estimation for population specifically in the Southern part of South America. The populations from Argentina and Uruguay show a declining trend (González et al. 2002, González et al. 2010). A minimum estimate for the total population size is 20,000 (Pinder 1994), while the maximum population size is estimated at 80,000 (Pinder 1994) individuals.

The largest extant populations are found in Brazil, in the northeast cerrado ecosystem where about 2,000 individuals live, and in the Pantanal where 20,000 to 40,000 exist (Pinder 1994). While in the last years two subpopulations were discovered, one further north on the island of Marajo, at the mouth of the Amazon River (Rossetti and de Toledo 2006), extending the species range, and the other in the south of the country a small subpopulation in Paraná State estimated to be less than 100 individuals (Braga et al. 2005).

In Uruguay there are two main subpopulations: El Tapado (Salto Department) with 800 individuals, and Los Ajos (Rocha Department) with approximately 300 deer (Weber and González 2003). At the turn of the 20th century, the Argentinean population was likely very large since over 500,000 km² of grassland habitat was available. However, today only three small subpopulations remain: Corrientes (Ituzaingo Department) with about 170 individuals (Merino and Beccaceci 1999), in San Luís Province) with approximately 800-1000 individuals (Merino et al. 2011) and coastal Bahía de Samborombóm (Buenos Aires Province) with about 200 individuals (Merino et al. 1997) and in Santa Fé “Bajos Submeridionales” area there is a small subpopulation estimated to be less than 50 individuals which lives in an area of 23,000 ha. (Vera Department, Pautasso 2011). A small subpopulation may still be extant in the southeastern part of Bolivia (Weber and González 2003). Small subpopulations of Pampas Deer may still be extant in the National Park Noel Kempff Mercado (Santa Cruz Department), in southwestern Bolivia (Anderson 1985, 1993; Tarifa 1993). However, it is restricted to relatively small patches of suitable habitat and may have become locally extinct in some of them.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:20000-80000
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species occupies a range of open habitats in the Neotropics, in particular grassland areas and the cerrado shrublands. In Argentina, it also occurs in coastal salt marshes.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: For information on use and trade, see under Threats.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat conversion for agriculture and competition with domestic livestock have been reported as threats to the Pampas Deer (Wemmer 1998). Due to the fragmentation of the remaining habitat the small and isolated populations face other threats. Other threats include over-exploitation for food, hides, and sport, predation by feral dogs, and possibly bovine disease (Wemmer 1998). In Brazil in Paraná State, another cause of mortality, outside of the Conservation Units, is the juvenile and fawn mortality during the crop harvest (Braga 2004). Predation of fawns by feral pigs occurs in both San Luis and the Bahia Samborombon; and fawns are kept as pets by local people (J. Jackson pers. comm.).

Breeding of cattle and sheep is also signaled as one of the negative factors for the species, due to competition for food and habitat, or transmission of diseases (Jackson et al. 1980, Cosse et al. 2009, Giménez Dixon 1987). However, there are situations where agricultural activity is compatible with the conservation of the Pampas Deer (Merino et al. 2011). The presence of dogs related with the cattle activities and, even more, of feral dogs that attack the deer is a serious threat (Jackson et al. 1980, Beade et al. 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Included on CITES Appendix I.

In Argentina the entire Samborombón Bay area has been a protected area since the 1970s. The area currently includes two provincial reserves (Bahia de Samborombón and Rincón de Ajó) and one national park “Campos del Tuyú”; all of which were created with the purpose of providing refuge and protection to Pampas Deer. The entire Bay was included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention and was declared as Wildlife Refuge in 1997.

A Pampas Deer PHVA workshop was conducted in Uruguay in 1993 and conservation recommendations were listed for the main populations in Uruguay (González et al. 1994). Several conservation deer workshops were facilitated by Deer Specialist Group to plan management and conservation strategies for this species. These have been followed up by diverse research and conservation activities in the region.

Recommended conservation actions include further population surveys, ecological research, strengthening of existing management of protected areas, creation of new protected areas, establishment of a collaborative captive breeding programme, and enlisting the co-operation of local landowners in maintaining this species (Wemmer 1998). In 1984 the Province of Buenos Aires declared the species a "Natural Monument" in Argentina (Gimenez Dixon 1991). The provinces of Corrientes, and San Luis did likewise in the 1990s. Uruguay also declared it Natural Monument in 1985 (decree 12/9/85).

In spite of all these efforts, the majority of populations remain in fragile condition. Recommended conservation actions include further population surveys, ecological research, strengthening of existing management of protected areas, creation of new protected areas, establishment of a collaborative captive breeding programme, and enlisting the co-operation of local landowners in maintaining this species (Wemmer 1998). Some measures must be implemented to develop privately owned protected areas in order to preserve these last populations. These measures must include exoneration of taxes by government agencies and other fiscal incentives to stimulate private conservation action (González et al. 2002.).

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.17. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.3. Limiting population growth
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation
4. Education & awareness -> 4.1. Formal education
4. Education & awareness -> 4.2. Training
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.3. Sub-national level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.1. Small-holder plantations
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.2. Agro-industry plantations
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%)   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%)   
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Canis familiaris ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Sus domesticus ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.1. Species Action/Recovery Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Anderson, S. 1985. Lista preliminar de mamíferos bolivianos. Cuadernos Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Bolivia 65: 5-16.

Anderson, S. 1993. Los mamíferos bolivianos: notas de distribución y claves de identificación. Publicación especial del Instituto de Ecología- Colección Boliviana de Fauna, La Paz, Bolivia.

Beade, M.S., Pastore, H. and Vila, A.R. 2000. Morfometría y mortalidad de venados de las pampas (Ozotoceros bezoartius celer) en la Bahía Samborombón. Bol. Tecn. Fundación Vida Silvestre 50: 31.

Braga, F.G. 2004. Influência da agricultura na distribuição espacial de Ozotoceros bezoarticus (Linnaeus, 1758) (veado-campeiro), em Piraí do Sul, Paraná - parâmetros populacionais e uso do ambiente. Mestrado em Engenharia Florestal, Universidade Federal do Paraná.

Braga, F.G., González, S. and Maldonado, J.E. 2005. Characterization of the genetic variability of Pampas deer in the state of Paraná. Deer Specialist Group News, Uruguay 20: 2-4.

Cabrera, A. 1943. Sobre la sistemática del venado y su variación individual y geográfica. Revista del Museo de la Plata (NS), Tomo III, Zool 18: 5-41.

Cabrera, A. and Yepes, J. 1960. Mamíferos Sudamericanos. Ediar, Buenos Aires.

Cosse, M., Gimenez Dixon, M. and González, S. 2009. Pampas deer feeding ecology: conservation implications in Uruguay. Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre 99(2): 158-164.

Giménez Dixon, M. 1987. La conservación del venado de las pampas. Pcia. Buenos Aires, Min. As. Agr., Dir. Rec. Nat. y Ecología.

Giménez Dixon, M. 1991. Estimación de parámetros poblacionales de venado de las pampas Ozotoceros bezoarticus celer Cabrera, 1943 Cervidae en la costa de la Bahía de Samborombón (Prov. Buenos Aires) a partir de los datos obtenidos mediante censos aéreos. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Tesis doctoral. Universidad Nacional de la Plata.

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González, S., Merino, M., Gimenez Dixon, M., Ellis, S. and Seal, U. S. 1994. Population and habitat viability assessment for the Pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus). Workshop Report Captive Breeding Specialist Group. Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA.

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Merino, M.L., Semeñiuk, M.B. and Fa, J.E. 2011. Effect of cattle breeding on habitat use of pampas deer Ozotoceros bezoarticus celer in semiarid grasslands of San Luis. Argentina Journal of Arid Environments 75: 752-756.

Pautasso, A.A. 2011. La fauna y su conservación en los Bajo Submeridionales. Conservación y Sociedad.

Pautasso, A. and Peña, M. 2002. Estado de conocimiento actual y registros de mortalidad de Ozotoceros bezoarticus en la Província de Santa Fé. Argentina. Deer Specialist Group News 17: 14-15.

Pautasso, A., Peña, M., Mastropaulo, J. and Moggia, L. 2002. Distribución y conservación del Venado de las Pampas (Ozotoceros bezoarticus leucogaster) en el norte de Santa Fe, Argentina. Mastozoología Neotropical 9(1): 64-69.

Pinder, L. 1994. Status of Pampas deer in Brazil. In: S. González, M. Merino, M. Gimenez-Dixon and S. Ellis (eds), Seal Population and Habitat Viability Assessment for the Pampas Deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus). Report CBSG/IUCN, Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA.

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Citation: González, S., Jackson, III, J.J. & Merino, M.L. 2016. Ozotoceros bezoarticus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15803A22160030. . Downloaded on 31 July 2016.
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