The taruka Hippocamelus antisensis, a species of deer categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, was thought to be locally extinct in the environs of La Paz, Bolivia. However, local people from Mecapaca municipality reported seeing tarukas at their former community establishment, which had been abandoned several years previously. After confirming the presence of taruka we conducted intensive surveys from which we estimated minimum abundance, and then calibrated relative abundance indices (faecal and track counts) to the abundance estimate. Using these calibrated indices we carried out a preliminary estimate of the total abundance of the species in the municipality of Mecapaca. We also carried out conservation education activities with teachers and students at local schools, which we discuss here in terms of the long-term conservation of this threatened species.