Black, P. & Gonzalez, S. (Deer Red List Authority)
This species is considered Vulnerable in light of a continuing decline in population, inferred from rates of habitat loss for this forest dependant species, estimated to be >30% over the past 3 generations (18 years). This species is a research priority as there is no information available outside of the protected area of Calakmul, thus there is no reliable information on its susceptibility to the numerous other threats which exist within its range, such as hunting and trapping.
This is a recently re-discovered species. The range of the species is not completely known, but includes most of the Yucatan peninsula (Mexico), and marginally extends into northern Guatemala and Belize.
Little is known about the ecology of this species. For many years it was considered to be a disjunct population of the brown brocket deer. It is a habitat generalist and highly adaptable deer. Since 1996, the first author is been studying its biology and ecology in South-eastern Mexico.
Subsistence hunting is the major way of utilization of Mazama pandora in the whole of its distributional range. Some indigenous cultures in Mexico believe that the blood of deer (any deer species) might be of medicinal power for certain kinds of diseases such as some sort of anemia. They will kill or find a captive deer in order to get some fresh blood for the ill person to drink. The level of utilization is high in some areas and specific metapopulation approaches are necessary to evaluate its impacts. Some metapopulations might be decreasing in numbers as a result of hunting.
No reliable population estimates exist for the percentages of total harvests of Mazama pandora, but isolated studies in the southeast of the Yucatan Peninsula (Greater Calakmul Region) indicate that harvest is sustainable in this area (see references). The situation in other areas such as Belize, Northern Guatemala and the northwest portion of the Yucatan can be quite different with some metapopulations being probably unsustainably exploited. Research in these areas is badly needed.
Commercial trade of M. pandora is insignificant with the possible exception of the surroundings of Merida Yucatan, Mexico and Campeche where some brown brockets might be illegally harvested to supply a tiny restaurant market. This might also be possible in Flores, Peten Guatemala, but the presence of this species in the area (Peten) is still in doubt.
The species is currently a staple food of the Mayan people, but undoubtedly has also been hunted for many centuries. The effects of hunting on local populations, as well as the effects of deforestation should be examined.
The Yucatan peninsula has two large Biosphere Reserves. The Yucatan brown brocket has been confirmed to exist in one of them (Calakmul Biosphere Reserve), and it likely occurs in Sian Ka’an Reserve as well. Confirmation and status surveys are needed. The species is also known to occur in an area of Yucatan that has been sustainably managed for timber production and other forest products for at least two decades. However, populations of this deer exist outside protected areas and in large forested communal lands know as “ejidos” in Mexico.
Medellín, A. R., Gardner, A. L. and Arya, J. M. 1998. The taxonomic status of the Yucatán brown brocket, Mazama pandora (Mammalia: Cervidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 111(1): 1-14.
Weber, M., de Grammont, P.C. & Cuarón, A.D. 2008. Mazama pandora. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T29622A9506829. . Downloaded on 29 May 2016.
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