Photo credit: Xavier Blanc
The Marsh Deer, Blastocerus dichotomus, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The largest South American deer, it is found in fragmented populations south of the Amazon River, in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay, and is considered extinct in Uruguay.
Although the Marsh Deer occurs in several protected areas throughout its range, including in parts of the Pantanal wetlands, it has been lost from much of its former range as a result of conversion of wetland habitat for agriculture, the construction of hydroelectric dams and exotic tree plantations. Cattle ranching has also reduced and fragmented its habitat, and has led to the transmission of “domestic cattle” diseases to the Marsh Deer. Further threats include poaching and pollution of waterways.
A management plan is urgently needed, with recommended conservation actions including population surveys, ecological studies, improved management of protected areas and the creation of new reserves and protected areas, and the establishment of an international captive breeding programme.
To learn more about the Marsh Deer, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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