Brocket is a common name for several species of small deer that live in the forests of Central and South America. They belong to the genus Mazama, which has 10 recognized species. Brocket deer are shy and elusive animals that are rarely seen by humans. They have a reddish-brown or gray coat, short antlers, and a white throat patch. They feed on leaves, fruits, flowers, and fungi.
Brocket deer are adapted to living in dense vegetation and avoiding predators. They have excellent hearing and smell, and can run fast and jump high. They are mostly solitary or live in pairs, except for the red brocket, which forms small family groups. Brocket deer are active during the day or night, depending on the species and the habitat. They communicate with each other through vocalizations, scent marking, and body postures.
Brocket deer are important for the ecosystem as they disperse seeds and control plant growth. They are also hunted by humans for their meat and skin, which can threaten their survival. Some species of brocket deer are endangered or vulnerable due to habitat loss, poaching, and diseases. Conservation efforts are needed to protect these beautiful and fascinating animals from extinction.
Types of Brocket Deer
There are 10 recognized species of brocket deer, each with its own characteristics and distribution. They are:
The red brocket (Mazama americana): The largest and most widespread species, found from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. It has a reddish coat and long antlers. It prefers humid forests and can be aggressive.
The gray brocket (Mazama gouazoubira): A medium-sized species, found from northern Argentina to southern Peru and eastern Brazil. It has a gray-brown coat and short antlers. It can adapt to different habitats, from forests to grasslands.
The Amazonian brown brocket (Mazama nemorivaga): A small species, found in the Amazon rainforest and adjacent regions. It has a dark brown coat and very short antlers. It is shy and nocturnal.
The Yucatan brown brocket (Mazama pandora): A small species, endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It has a light brown coat and short antlers. It lives in dry forests and savannas.
The little red brocket (Mazama rufina): A small species, endemic to the Andes of Colombia, Ecuador and northern Peru. It has a reddish coat and short antlers. It lives in high-altitude forests and paramos.
The dwarf brocket (Mazama chunyi): A very small species, endemic to the Andes of western Bolivia and southeastern Peru. It has a dark gray coat and short antlers. It lives in high-altitude forests and paramos.
The pygmy brocket (Mazama nana): A very small species, found in eastern Brazil and northeastern Argentina. It has a reddish-brown coat and short antlers. It lives in Atlantic forest and cerrado.
The Brazilian dwarf brocket (Mazama bororo): A very small species, endemic to southeastern Brazil. It has a reddish-brown coat and short antlers. It lives in Atlantic forest.
The Peruvian dwarf brocket (Mazama bricenii): A very small species, endemic to northeastern Peru. It has a reddish-brown coat and short antlers. It lives in montane forest.
The fair brocket (Mazama tienhoveni): A small species, recently described from the lower Amazon basin in Brazil. It has a light brown coat and short antlers. It lives in lowland forest.