The taruca
Scientific classification edit
Leuckart, 1816

Hippocamelus bisulcus Molina, 1782Hippocamelus antisensis d'Orbigny, 1834

Hippocamelus is a genus of Cervidae, the deer family. It comprises two Andean species, commonly known as the huemul (from the Mapuche language), and the taruca.

Both species have a stocky, thick, and short-legged body. They live at high altitudes in the summer, then move down the mountains in the fall and spend the winter in sheltered forested valleys. Areas with fresh water are preferred. They are herbivores that feed primarily on herbaceous plants and shrubs as well as sedges, lichens, and grasses found between the rocks on high peaks. They are active during daytime and have a lifespan of about ten years.[citation needed]


The huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), also known as the South Andean deer, is found in Chile and Argentina. Huemuls live in groups of varying size, typically of two or three individuals, but sometimes as many as eleven. In the past, groups of over a hundred deer were reported.[citation needed] Groups are made up of a female and her young, while males are often alone.

Huemul occur in several national parks in Chile and neighbouring parts of Argentina and have been on the Endangered list since 1996. They are endangered primarily due to human impacts such as deforestation, habitat fragmentation by roads, introduction of non-native mammals such as farm animals, and poaching. They are in a classic "extinction spiral" marked by increasingly small, isolated populations.[citation needed]

The huemul is, along with the condor, the national animal of Chile.

The taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis), is found in Peru, as well as parts of Bolivia, and in treeless Puna grasslands. They live at high altitudes, from 2,500 to 5,200 meters above sea level. Social habits include grazing in flexible groups of up to thirty animals consisting of one or two males and several females.[1]

Other Languages
català: Cérvol andí
Cebuano: Hippocamelus
Deutsch: Andenhirsche
español: Hippocamelus
français: Hippocamelus
italiano: Hippocamelus
lietuvių: Andiniai elniai
Nederlands: Hippocamelus
polski: Huemal
português: Hippocamelus
svenska: Huemuler
Türkçe: And geyiği
українська: Гемал
Tiếng Việt: Hippocamelus
Winaray: Hippocamelus
中文: 馬駝鹿