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A project initiated by the Neotropical section of the IUCN SSC Deer Specialist Group (DSG) aimed to compile a state-of-the-art resource on Neotropical deer species. Since 1998, when the Deer Action Plan (DAP) was published, there has been no publication that has followed up on all its recommendations and proposed management actions.
In Latin America, the historical relationship between humans and deer is a long one. Deer have been a source of food, raw materials and medicine from time immemorial. In spite of this long relationship, very little scientific research has been conducted to understand their basic biology and natural history. Today, the survival of almost half the species is threatened to some degree, ranging, in terms of the IUCN Red List Categories from Near Threatened to Critically Endangered. Knowledge of the natural history and ecological requirements of these species is required if we are to conserve the threatened species, as well as manage the "healthier" populations sustainably. We also need to gather together the knowledge we do have into accessible forms so that we are able to set targets and priorities for acquiring new knowledge.
The book has 41 chapters in four sections: a) Evolution, genetics, morphology and physiology, b) Neotropical species biology, c) Field and captive techniques, and d) Medicine.
The structure of the book is innovative; all participants are experienced professionals in the field in deer research. Each chapter was led by a coordinator, a recognized expert in the field, who had the opportunity to invite wide participation from co-authors. Most of the contributors to this book are involved with the DSG. An exhaustive bibliographic survey was performed to ensure that information on the most relevant research, assessment, management and policy actions on Neotropical deer species was included.