Habitat and Ecology
The main habitat of M. bricenii is paramos and tropical montane cloud forests above 1500 m. The paramos are high altitude grasslands (Boom et al. 2001), which are dominated by Calamagrostis spp. and gigantic Andean rosette plants from the genus Espeletia (Luteyn 1992). The tropical montane cloud forest is a type of vegetation that has special climatic conditions causing cloud and mist to be regularly in contact with the forest vegetation (Bruijnzeel and Veneklaas 1998). These forests support ecosystems of distinctive floristic and structural forms with lower canopy and thicker understory than lowland forests (Grubb et al. 1963). Details on M. bricenii ecology are unknown, although it seems to be solitary, active at day as well as at night, and expected to be a browser/frugivore in the forest understory. They are shy and secretive animals, rarely seen because of their nocturnal habits. They live either alone or in pairs and normally within a small territory. They usually defecate in latrines probably located at boundaries of territories. Further research is required.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Criterion A (population reduction):
Population decline occurred in the past and is projected for the future. An estimate of the actual extent of occurrence (EOO) is 24,912 kmÂ² , which means a 56% decrease from the original distribution based on a habitat model of museum records in Colombia and Venezuela. Threats to this species have not ceased and are not reversible. Habitat destruction has occurred for decades in the range of the Merida Brocket.
Criterion B (Geographic range size):
The Merida Brocket habitat has been degraded due to colonization, deforestation and burning, agriculture, illicit crops and cattle grazing. Most of the reduction occurred in the last ten years as a result of severe deforestation and agricultural development, at least in Colombia. Additionally, a projected continuing decline of the extent of occurrence based on continuing deforestation together with a low percentage of protected areas (two National Parks) may result in more than 30% reduction of the population (if it has not already occurred), thus supporting the status of Vulnerable.
The Mérida Brocket (Mazama bricenii), also known as the Merioa Brocket or Rufous Brocket, is a small species of deer. It is found in forest and páramo at altitudes of 1,000–3,500 metres (3,300–11,500 ft) in the Andes of northern Colombia and western Venezuela. It was once treated as a subspecies of the similar Little Red Brocket, but has been considered a distinct species since 1987, though as recent as 1999 some maintained it as a subspecies.
- Grubb, P. (2005). "Order Artiodactyla". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 656. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Lizcano, D. J. & Alvarez, S. J. (2008). Mazama bricenii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 10 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.
- "Mazama bricenii". ZipcodeZoo. BayScience Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- Nowak, R. M. (eds) (1999). Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press.