SOUTHERN PUDU – Pudu pudu

SOUTHERN PUDU

Southern pudu facts: The smallest deer in the world weighs 20 to 33 pounds (9 to 15 kilograms) and stands 14 to 18 inches (35 to 45 centimeters) high at the shoulder. Its thick coat is a reddish brown, and the lips and insides of ears are tinged with orange. Males have short spiked antlers. Body is low to the ground. Eyes and ears are small. The tail of this deer is so small as to be almost nonexistent.

Geographic range: The pudu lives in Argentina and southern Chile.

Southern pudu habitat: This deer lives in rainforests, bamboo groves, and in mountains. Prefers thickets for protection from wild cats and foxes.

What does southern pudu eat: The pudu eats twigs, leaves, fruits, seeds, and bark. Stands on back legs to reach food if necessary.

Behavior and reproduction: These solitary deer socialize only during mating season. They traverse the jungle via well-worn paths and form dung piles near resting places. Each pudu has a home range of 40 to 60 acres (16.2 to 24.3 hectares).

This polygynous deer mates in the fall. Pregnancy lasts about 210 days and results in the birth of a single fawn. Babies nurse for two months. Females are ready to mate at twelve months, males at eighteen. Life expectancy is eight to ten years.

Southern pudu and people: Hunted for food and sport.

Conservation status: Endangered due to habitat destruction and domestic dogs.