Southern South America
Pudu puda is found in the rainforests in the temperate zones of Argentina and Chile.
Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )
Southern pudu are the smallest deer in the world, ranging from 600 to 825 mm in total body length and with a shoulder height from 250 to 430 mm. The coat is composed of long coarse hair. The body color is a buffy agouti pattern. The middle back is a reddish brown color, while the face, outer surface of the ears, narial patch, chin and under side are reddish. The fawns have a white spotted coat. The body is low to the ground with short thick legs. The eyes and the ears are small compared with the body size. The tail is almost non-exsistent. Males have short, less than 100 mm, spike antlers. (Nowak, 1997)
Range length: 600 to 825 mm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: ornamentation
Average mass: 10000 g.
Habitat and Ecology
The climate in the habitat of P. puda consists of a short dry summer and a mild wet winter. The yearly rainfall is 74-150 inches. Pudu prefer dense underbrush and bamboo groves because they offer protection from predators. They can be found anywhere from sea level to 3,200 meters elevation. (Grzimek, 1990)
Range elevation: 3200 (high) m.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: forest
Southern pudu eat fallen fruit, ferns, vines and small tree foliage. Pudus move slowly as they look for food, often standing up on their hind legs to test the wind. They reach food by standing on their hind legs and jumping on fallen trees. They also may press down on ferns and saplings until they break off. Pudu bend over bamboo shoots and walk across them while they are horizontal to feed on upper foliage. They feed on the bark of young saplings approximately 6 to 12 inches off the ground. Pudu can go for long periods without drinking water. They may obtain sufficient water from their food. (Grzimek,1990)
Plant Foods: leaves; wood, bark, or stems; fruit
Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore , Frugivore )
Life History and Behavior
Status: captivity: 12.5 years.
Status: wild: 10.0 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Pudu mate in the fall and give birth in the spring, from November to January. The gestation period is approximately 202 to 223 days. Only one fawn is born a year. At birth the young weigh less than one kilogram. It takes three months for the fawn to become full sized, and six months for females and eighteen months for males to reach sexual maturity. (Nowak, 1997)
Breeding interval: Southern pudu breed once yearly.
Breeding season: Mating occurs in the fall.
Range number of offspring: 1 (high) .
Average number of offspring: 1.
Range gestation period: 202 to 223 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 6 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 18 months.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous
Average birth mass: 900 g.
Average number of offspring: 1.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
Sex: male: 320 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female: 274 days.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Pudu puda
Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.
Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pudu puda
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Vulnerable(Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
- 1994Insufficiently Known(Groombridge 1994)
Date Listed: 06/14/1976
Lead Region: Foreign (Region 10)
Where Listed: Southern South America
Population location: Southern South America
Listing status: E
For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Pudu puda, see its USFWS Species Profile
Pudu are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The main factors that are threatening P. puda include the destruction of habitat, the introduction of roe and fallow deer from Europe, and domestic dogs. Pudu cannot compete for food with the roe and fallow deer. The population of puda has stabilized in Chile as a result of the tapering off of habitat destruction. The Game Preservation Director of Chile's Natural Forest Administration issued a statement saying that P. puda will survive, as long as its habitat does. Pudu puda is not currently threatened with immediate extinction, but its future is uncertain. Despite a study conducted by the World Wildlife Fund, the number of P. puda in the wild is still unknown. (Grzimek,1990)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable
A captive breeding program is currently underway (Concepcion University, Chile) and there are plans to reintroduce animals into three national parks (Toledo pers. comm.). Recommended conservation actions include: initiate coordinated research to examine habitat requirements, food habits, and behavioral ecology; determine impact of feral dogs. Feral dogs are also very significant threats in Argentina. Also, determine effect of introduced wild pigs, whose distribution is greater than that of the pudu; there is 100% overlap of the distribution of wild pigs and pudus and undertake status surveys to establish extent of habitat decline and forest fragmentation; use information to identify priority areas for Southern pudu conservation and develop coordinated program to manage species throughout range; strengthen existing protected areas management; interchange of captive animals among captive breeding programs for self maintenance to reduce inbreeding, genetically manage the international captive population to reduce inbreeding; and conduct research on reproduction, nutrition, and behavior.
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