Dwarf brocket (Mazama chunyi)

Also known as: Peruvian dwarf brocket
Spanish: Cabrito, Chuñi, Chuñitaruka, Cuñi
GenusMazama (1)
SizeHead-body length: 70 cm (2)
Shoulder height: 38 cm (2)
Weight8 – 12 kg (3)

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

This small South American deer has, like other brocket deer, a rather stout body and slender limbs (4). Its coat is cinnamon to reddish-brown, with a buff-coloured throat, chest and inner legs, and the underside of the tail is white (5). The coat of young dwarf brocket deer is patterned with pale spots (5). Male brocket deer have small dagger-like antlers which, as they rarely measure more than 3.5 centimetres, barely protrude beyond the hairline (3).

Occurs in the Andes of southern Peru and northern Bolivia (1) (3).

The dwarf brocket deer is found in mountainous areas where it inhabits forest and grasslands, from 1,000 to 4,000 metres above sea level (1).

Fairly little is known about the biology of this shy and seldom seen deer (1) (4). It is believed to be a solitary species that is active during the day and night, and feeds on leaves and fruits in the lower layers of the forest (1).

Although almost nothing is known about reproduction in the dwarf brocket deer, it is likely to be similar to that of other brocket deer species. Brocket deer may reproduce year round, giving birth to a single calf after a long gestation period of 218 to 228 days. Young brocket deer mature rapidly, and females can breed by 11 months of age (3).

Like other brocket deer, this dwarf species is hunted for its meat (1) (4), as well as for medicinal products. The dwarf brocket deer also faces threats from habitat destruction, with over 40 percent of the dwarf brocket deer’s habitat being degraded by small scale cattle ranching and agriculture, coca plantations, mining and road construction (1).

The dwarf brocket deer occurs in a number of protected areas, including Manu National Park and the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary in Peru, but further conservation action for this Vulnerable species is required. Field surveys, ecological studies and efforts to educate local communities on the effect of habitat destruction and unsustainable hunting have all been recommended (1).

For further information on the conservation of deer see:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2007)
  2. Eisenberg, J.F. and Redford, K.H. (2000) Mammals of the Neotropics: Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
  3. Geist, V. (1999) Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behaviour, and Ecology. Swan Hill Press, Shrewsbury, England.
  4. Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker’s Mammals of the World. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.
  5. Geist, V. (2001) Deer. In: Macdonald, D.W. (Ed) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.