Pudu, Southern


Pudu puda


The Southern pudu, also known as the Chilean pudu, is the smallest member of the deer family.   An adult pudu’s body length is less than three feet long, with its shoulder height ranging from 1 to 1.5 feet tall.   The pudu has a short, reddish brown coat with slightly lighter legs and underparts.  Their tail is short.  Fawns are spotted with white spots.  Males have simple spike antlers about 3 inches in length.

Family

Cervidae

Order

Artiodactyla

Class

Mammalia

Range

Lower Andes of Chile and Argentina

Habitat

Temperate rainforest with dense underbrush and bamboo thickets

Life Expectancy

8 - 10 years

Sexual Maturity

Females reach sexual maturity at 6 months of age; males at 8-12 months.

Diet

In the wild, they feed on bark, buds, fruits and flowers. In the Zoo, they are fed carrot, sweet potato, green beans, greens, grain, and alfalfa hay.

Status

IUCN - Vulnerable, CITES - Appendix I, AZA - Red SSP

Behaviors

Social Structure: Pudu are predominately solitary and only come together during breeding season. Reproduction: Pudu breed seasonally with breeding occurring between April and May. Females typically birth one offspring each year after a gestation of approximately 7 months. Parental Care: Fawns are weaned at 2 months but may remain with their dam for up to a year before becoming fully independent. Communication: Pudu communicate predominately through scent marking. They mark their home ranges with fecal droppings, urine, and scent secretions from the preorbital and frontal glands.

Adaptions

Their round body and short legs are advantageous to slipping easily through dense undergrowth; when threatened, pudu flee in a zig zag pattern to confuse predators. Pudu get most of their hydration from the foods they eat and have to drink very little water.

Special Interests

Folklore

Conservation

Threatening the pudu’s survival today is habitat destruction by logging and modification by grazing domestic stock. In addition, larger species of deer have been introduced to the pudu habitat. These larger species out compete their smaller relatives for food. The pudu’s small size has led to them being desirable pets.

Jacksonville Zoo History

The pudu have successfully bred here.

Exhibit

Range of the Jaguar Emerald Forest Aviary, Wild Florida Sandhill Crane Exhibit