Hippocamelus

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Hippocamelus
Huemul.jpg
The taruca
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Capreolinae
Genus: Hippocamelus
Leuckart 1816
Species

Hippocamelus is a genus of Cervidae, the deer family. It comprises two extant Andean and two fossil species. The living members are commonly known as the huemul (from the Mapuche language), and the taruca.

Contents

Both species have a stocky, thick, and short-legged body. They live at high altitudes in the summer, then move down the mountains in the fall and spend the winter in sheltered forested valleys. Areas with fresh water are preferred. They are herbivores that feed primarily on herbaceous plants and shrubs as well as sedges, lichens, and grasses found between the rocks on high peaks. They are active during daytime and have a lifespan of about ten years.[ citation needed ]

Extant species

The huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), also known as the South Andean deer, is found in Chile and Argentina. Huemuls live in groups of varying size, typically of two or three individuals, but sometimes as many as eleven. In the past, groups of over a hundred deer were reported.[ citation needed ] Groups are made up of a female and her young, while males are often alone.

Huemul occur in several national parks in Chile and neighbouring parts of Argentina and have been on the Endangered list since 1996. They are endangered primarily due to human impacts such as deforestation, habitat fragmentation by roads, introduction of non-native mammals such as farm animals, and poaching. They are in a classic "extinction spiral" marked by increasingly small, isolated populations.[ citation needed ]

The huemul is, along with the condor, the national animal of Chile.

The taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis), is found in Peru, as well as parts of Bolivia, and in treeless Puna grasslands. They live at high altitudes, from 2,500 to 5,200 meters above sea level. Social habits include grazing in flexible groups of up to thirty animals consisting of one or two males and several females. [1]

Taxonomy and evolution

In 2008, a genetic study indicated that the huemul and taruca may not be closely related, and that the taruca should therefore be placed in a separate genus. [2] This has been contradicted by more recent studies. [3]

Fossils belonging to the now extinct species Hippocamelus sulcatus have been identified from Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. This species inhabited lowland plains habitats, rather than mountains, and lived between 1.5 and 0.5 million years ago, during the mid to late Pleistocene. Its exact relationship to the living species is unclear. A second fossil species, Hippocamelus percultus , is known from the Bolivian Andes, and lived around 40,000 to 20,000 years ago; it may be a direct ancestor of the living taruca. [4]

Conservation

Both species are threatened according to the IUCN. The south Andean deer is endangered and the taruca is vulnerable.

Related Research Articles

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The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America. The range is 7,000 km (4,350 mi) long, 200 to 700 km wide, and has an average height of about 4,000 m (13,123 ft). The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

Deer A family of mammals belonging to even-toed ungulates

Deer or true deer are hoofed ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the elk (wapiti), the red deer, the fallow deer, and the chital; and the Capreolinae, including the reindeer (caribou), the roe deer, the mule deer, and the moose. Female reindeer, and male deer of all species except the Chinese water deer, grow and shed new antlers each year. In this they differ from permanently horned antelope, which are part of a different family (Bovidae) within the same order of even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla).

Pudú A genus of mammals belonging to the deer, muntjac, roe deer, reindeer, and moose family of ruminants

The pudus are two species of South American deer from the genus Pudu, and are the world's smallest deer. The name is a loanword from Mapudungun, the language of the indigenous Mapuche people of central Chile and south-western Argentina. The two species of pudus are the northern pudu from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, and the southern pudu from southern Chile and south-western Argentina. Pudus range in size from 32 to 44 centimeters tall, and up to 85 centimeters (33 in) long. The southern pudu is currently classified as near threatened, while the northern pudu is classified as Data Deficient in the IUCN Red List.

Andean flamingo Species of bird

The Andean flamingo is a species of flamingo native to the Andes mountains of South America. Until 2014, it was classified in genus Phoenicopterus. It is closely related to James's flamingo, and the two make up the genus Phoenicoparrus. The Chilean flamingo, Andean flamingo, and James' flamingo are all sympatric, and all live in colonies.

Andean condor A large South American bird in the New World vulture family

The Andean condor is a South American bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidae and is the only member of the genus Vultur. Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America, the Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurement of weight and wingspan. It has a maximum wingspan of 3.3 m and weight of 15 kg (33 lb). It is generally considered as the largest bird of prey in the world.

Shrew opossum Family of marsupials

The family Caenolestidae contains the seven surviving species of shrew opossum: small, shrew-like marsupials that are confined to the Andes mountains of South America. The order is thought to have diverged from the ancestral marsupial line very early. They were once included in the superorder but it is now known that Ameridelphia is paraphyletic, having given rise to Australidelphia, and thus could be considered an evolutionary grade. Genetic studies indicate that they are the second most basal order of marsupials, after the didelphimorphs. As recently as 20 million years ago, at least seven genera were in South America. Today, just three genera remain. They live in inaccessible forest and grassland regions of the High Andes.

Guanaco Species of mammal (camelid)

The guanaco is a camelid native to South America, closely related to the llama. Its name comes from the Quechua word huanaco. Young guanacos are called chulengos. Guanacos are one of two wild South American camelids, the other being the vicuña, which lives at higher elevations.

Vicuña Wild South American camelid

The vicuña or vicuna is one of the two wild South American camelids which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes, the other being the guanaco, which lives at lower elevations. Vicuñas are relatives of the llama, and are now believed to be the wild ancestor of domesticated alpacas, which are raised for their coats. Vicuñas produce small amounts of extremely fine wool, which is very expensive because the animal can only be shorn every three years and has to be caught from the wild. When knitted together, the product of the vicuña's wool is very soft and warm. The Inca valued vicuñas highly for their wool, and it was against the law for anyone but royalty to wear vicuña garments; today, the vicuña is the national animal of Peru and appears on the Peruvian coat of arms.

Andean mountain cat Small wild cat

The Andean mountain cat is a small wild cat native to the high Andes that has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List because fewer than 2,500 individuals are thought to exist in the wild. It is traditionally considered a sacred animal by indigenous Aymara and Quechua people.

Brocket deer A genus of mammals belonging to the deer, muntjac, roe deer, reindeer, and moose family of ruminants

Brockets or brocket deer are the species of deer in the genus Mazama. They are medium to small in size, and are found in the Yucatán Peninsula, Central and South America, and the island of Trinidad. Most species are primarily found in forests. They are superficially similar to the African duikers and the Asian muntjacs, but unrelated. About 10 species of brocket deer are described.

South Andean deer Species of deer

The south Andean deer, also known as the southern guemal, Chilean huemul or güemul, is an endangered species of deer native to the mountains of Argentina and Chile. It is one of two mid-sized deer in the Hippocamelus genus and ranges across the high mountainsides and cold valleys of the Andes. The distribution and habitat, behaviour, and diet of the deer have all been the subject of study. The viability of the small remaining population is an outstanding concern to researchers.

Taruca Species of deer

The taruca, or north Andean deer, is a species of deer native to South America.

Fauna of the Andes

The fauna of the Andes, a mountain range in South America, is large and diverse. As well as a huge variety of flora, the Andes contain many different animal species.

Capreolinae Subfamily of mammals

The Capreolinae, Odocoileinae, or the New World deer are a subfamily of deer. Alternatively, they are known as the telemetacarpal deer, due to their bone structure being different from the plesiometacarpal deer subfamily Cervinae. The telemetacarpal deer maintain their distal lateral metacarpals, while the plesiometacarpal deer maintain only their proximal lateral metacarpals. The Capreolinae are believed to have originated in the Middle Miocene, between 7.7 and 11.5 million years ago, in central Asia.

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Andean Cat Alliance

The Andean Cat Alliance is a network of researchers and conservationists working to study and protect the Andean cat and its habitat in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. It is partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Network, and has developed a strategic plan for conservation of the species.

Famatina Department Place in La Rioja, Department

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<i>Distichia muscoides</i> Species of flowering plant in the rush family Juncaceae

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References

  1. Roe, N.; Rees, W. (1976). "Preliminary observations of the taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis: Cervidae) in southern Peru". Journal of Mammalogy. 57 (4): 722–730. doi:10.2307/1379442. JSTOR   1379442.
  2. Duarte, J.M.B.; et al. (2008). "The surprising evolutionary history of South American deer". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 49 (1): 17–22. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2008.07.009. PMID   18675919.
  3. Heckeberg, N.S.; Erpenbeck, D.; et al. (August 2016). "Systematic relationships of five newly sequenced cervid species". PeerJ. 4: e2307. doi:10.7717/peerj.2307. PMC   4991894 .
  4. Barrio, J. (2013). "Hippocamelus antisensis (Artiodactyla: Cervidae)". Mammalian Species. 45 (901): 49–59. doi: 10.1644/901.1 .