The Taruca Deer (Hippocamelus antisensis), or North Andean Deer, is a native of South America. It’s a mid-sized deer with a heavy body, and it is characterized by sandy brown hair with white patches.
Taruca Deer Size & Measurements
- Head & Body Length – 150 to 170 cm
- Shoulder height – 74 to 77 cm
- Tail length – 10 to 15 cm
- Weight – 45 to 65 kg
What Does the North Andean Deer Look Like?
The North Andean Deer has a variety of names such as the Peruvian Guemel, the Peruvian Huemel and the Taruca Deer. It is very similar in appearance to the South Andean Deer. The form of the antlers is the main difference between the two deer species.
In the North Andean Deer antlers branch close to the rose and the skull.
The South Andean deer, by contrast, has antlers that branch from a small stem further along their length.
Taruca deer antlers are between 20 and 30 cm in length. They are cast after the rut each year on October or November and begin to grow again immediately. They are fully grown by the following March.
In stature the North Andean Deer is a small to mid-sized, short-legged deer. The coat is rough and thick, and in color is a grey-ish sandy brown. There are white markings around the throat. The ears are large and rounded with white insides. The tail is short, and unlike that of the South Andean Deer the underside is brown. South Andean deer tails are white.
Where Does the Taruca Deer Live?
As its name suggests the North Andean Deer lives north of the South Andean Deer.
It has a wide range across the northern Andes mountain chain. You can find Hippocamelus antisensis in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
While the Taruca is still relatively common, populations are under threat and declining. This is because of over hunting, and also because of competition from domestic livestock. Farming has forced the Taruca out of some of its natural habitats.
Preferred Habitat of the Hippocamelus Antisensis
The North Andean Deer lives high on the mountain steppes in the Andes range. These deer dwell in an Alpine habitat band between the tree line and the snow line.
They dwell at elevations of 3,000 to 5,000 metres and prefer grassy steppes and areas populated by shrubs that provide food and cover.