Pudu puda (Molina, 1782)
Range: Southern Chile, Southeastern Argentina
Habitat: Temperate Rainforest, Bamboo Forest
Diet: Leaves, Twigs, Fruits, Bark
Social Grouping: Solitary
Reproduction: Mating takes place in the fall, with a single fawn being born after a gestation period of about 210 days. The fawn is weaned at 2 months and is fully grown at 3 months. Females are sexually mature at 6 months old, males at 8-12 months
Lifespan: 8-10 Years
Conservation Status: IUCN Vulnerable, CITES Appendix I
- Along with its cousin, the northern pudu (Pudu mephistopheles), it is the smallest deer species in the world. Adult are 85 centimeters long, 35-40 centimeters at the shoulder, and weighing 6.5-13.5 kilograms.
- Coat is short and glossy with a red-brown color, slightly lighter on the underside and legs. Fawns are covered with white spots.
- Males possess short, spike-like antlers, growing 7-10 centimeters long. They are shed in July.
- Due to their small size, it can be challenging for these deer to reach vegetation. They compensate by standing on their hind legs or climbing on top of fallen tree trunks
- Capable of obtaining most of their moisture from the plant they eat
- Occupy home ranges of 16-26 hectares, linked by a series of trails and tunnels through dense vegetation. Leave dung piles on the sides of these trails
- Predators include pumas, foxes, small cats, and large birds of prey. Also preyed upon by feral dogs
- Threats include habitat loss due to logging and ranching, road collisions, and competition with introduced species, which may also spread diseases. Sometimes taken from the wild as a pet.