SPECIES FACT FILE
Scientific name: Mazama americana
English names: Red Brocket
Spanish and local names: corzuela colorada, guazuncho, guazú-pytá o guazo
Size: 103 to 146 cm (40.55 to 57.48 in)
Weight: 20 to 55 kg (44.05 to 121.15 lb)
There is much uncertainty regarding the taxonomy of Mazama americana. There are doubts that concern subspecies number and evolution of subspecies into species. As a result, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has categorized this species as Data deficient, meaning we don’t know if the species is threatened and how much, since the assessment is not possible.
Red brockets are the largest of the genus of brocket deer, comprising 11 different species. Their name is accurate in describing the color that may stand out the most, though their heads and necks are greyish brown and the inner side of the thighs, ears, throat and tail are white. They have long ears, the juveniles are born with white spots that disappear when they grow adult. Female brockets don’t have any antlers and male ones have small spikes that are used to defend themselves from predators. Males tend to be larger than females.
Red Brockets are found in dense tropical rainforest with closed canopies, their small bodies and small antlers are adapted to hide in the vegetation from predators. Their range is the whole of the neotropical region of south America, from northern Argentina to Colombia and from the elevations of sea level up to 1,200mts.
Brockets are a type of deer that are highly unstudied due to their effective predator evasive behaviour which makes them difficult specimens to study. This behaviour consists of quick evasive manoeuvres like swimming, leaping and freezing still. When escaping from a jaguar or a puma, they will alternate between these behaviours to confuse their predator.
Brockets are both diurnal and nocturnal and will eat mostly fruits under the forest during the day when available and will graze on leaves and plants in open fields and gardens at night. In the wet season when food availability is low they will eat mostly fungi. In extreme cases when even fungi become scarce, they will eat bark, petioles, leaves, and animal matter instead.
Brockets have only one offspring at a time and are very clever at keeping them well hidden until they reach a mature age. Little is known regarding their sexual behaviour. Brockets are crucial elements of the ecosystem as they disperse seeds of specific plant species that without them would go extinct.
Red Brocket deer are highly hunted by humans for their meat, and along with the destruction of their habitat are the main threats they face. Insufficient studies of their taxonomy have left Red Brocket deer classified as “Data Deficient” by the IUCN so we do not know how badly endangered they might be.
MEXICAN NAME- The genus name Mazama comes from the Nahuatl word “Mazatl” which means deer.
QUIET FELLAS- Deer are not capable of emitting vocalizations. Nevertheless, these animals do have a single call, which is a sharp crying sound.
LONG DIGESTION- Dears are ruminants and possess 4 stomachs which they use to process their food.
Red Brockets at La Senda Verde
At La Senda Verde lives a young female red brocket called Llajuita. You may learn more about her and adopt her in her Who Loves Me adoption profile.