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The South Andean Deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus), also known as the Chilean Huemul, is a species of deer native to the Andes mountains in South America. It is one of the two species of deer found in Chile, the other being the Northern Huemul.
The South Andean Deer has a distinctive appearance, with a reddish-brown coat and white spots on its legs. It has a stocky build and is relatively small compared to other deer species, standing about 3 feet tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 110 pounds.
These deer are herbivores, feeding mainly on grasses, shrubs, and bark. They are primarily active at dawn and dusk and live in remote, high-altitude habitats, such as Andean forests, grasslands, and scrublands. They are social animals, living in small herds of up to 10 individuals.
The South Andean Deer is considered an endangered species, with an estimated population of only 2,000 individuals in the wild. Threats to their survival include habitat loss due to deforestation, hunting, and competition with domestic livestock for food. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and conserve this unique species, including habitat restoration, law enforcement, and education campaigns.
Overall, the South Andean Deer is an important species in the Andes ecosystem, playing a role in maintaining the balance of the mountain's flora and fauna.