The national animal of French Guiana is the deer. It belongs to the carvidae family. As a ruminant, French Guiana’s national animal mostly feeds on grass, shoots, fruits and other vegetation. The difference between the male and female deer can be seen in various ways. First, the males have antlers which they shed off every year for new ones to grow. Females do not have the antlers. Second is the size. Male deer are relatively large in size compared to their female counterparts. During mating, the male deer try to establish dominance over others.
Deer mostly inhabit forested woodlands, croplands and bushy areas. This is because, in such areas the deer are assured of enough vegetation for food. They can also be found in areas where there is an intersection of environments simply because in such areas there are minimal predators. Their total population is estimated to be around 1.2 million (Wildlife resource distribution). Even though human activities have threatened their existence, IUCN has listed them as list concern animals.
Facts about the national animal of French Guiana
- Common name: Deer
- Scientific name: Odocoileus virginianus
- Average weight: male-150lbs. female-100lbs.
- Average height: 2.6-3.3 ft.
- Gestation period: 201 days
- Habitat: forested woodlots, brushy areas and croplands
- Diet: Herbivores
The size of the national animal of French Guiana varies depending on the habitat. Male deer can weigh as much as 190 pounds while the female can reach up to 120 pounds in habitats with plenty of food. Their back is brown/black while the underparts is white. Due to their athletic body, with the male deer having antlers, they have been considered to be the national animal symbol of French Guiana. This can also be attributed to the fact that many human beings like its meat, thus increased rate of hunting them.
This animal has been celebrated as the national heritage of French Guiana for ages, making it to qualify as the national symbol of French Guiana.
- “The Paraguayan territory of France Guiana”-Nationstates.net
- “Animal profile: Deer”-Wildlife habitats
- “Deer fact sheet”-Wildlife resource distribution