The taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis), or north Andean deer, is a species of deer that ranges across the Andes of Peru and Bolivia and the north of Chile and the northwest of Argentina. The animals weigh between 45 and 65 kilograms and stand 70 to 80 centimeters.
The IUCN currently lists the taruca as a "Vulnerable" species.
This species is considered to be Vulnerable due to a small population size and ongoing decline (criterion C) estimated from hunting and inferred from reduction of habitat quality, and following a quantitative analysis (criterion E). The total census population estimation for the species is 12,000-17,000 individuals, of which less than 10,000 are estimated to be mature. The remaining 10,000 mature individuals are divided into subpopulations, each with less than 1,000 mature individuals. Habitat fragmentation is also a serious threat to the existing populations. Additionally, there is a continuing decline in a large portion of the existing range (Argentine and Bolivia), where the cumulative population between both these countries may not reach 2,000 mature individuals. A PVA on a healthy population in southern Peru showed a high probability of extinction (<10% in 100 years),[clarification needed] further justifying a Vulnerable listing. The scenario from Peru is representative of the whole population. Also, Peruvian vicuña census data from 1988 included taruka in some areas, and following local people accounts in those areas, the taruka population had decreased more than 50% in the previous 20 years (1960s to 1980s). A similar trend was obtained in recent years by Javier Barrio in three separated areas from Peru.
- Barrio, J. & Ferreyra, N. (2008). Hippocamelus antisensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 8 June 2007. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.
- "Taruca project (Hippocamelus antisensis)". Fauna Australis. Willdlife Conservation. Archived from the original on 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
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