Pudu pudasouthern pudu

Geographic Range

Pudu puda is found in the rainforests in the temperate zones of Argentina and Chile.

Habitat

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
    10498.69 (high) ft

Physical Description

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)

  • Average mass
    10000 g
    352.42 oz
    AnAge
  • Range length
    600 to 825 mm
    23.62 to 32.48 in

Reproduction

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
  • Average number of offspring
    1
    AnAge
  • Range gestation period
    202 to 223 days
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    6 months
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    Sex: female
    274 days
    AnAge
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    18 months
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    Sex: male
    320 days
    AnAge

Lifespan/Longevity

Behavior

Pudu are solitary animals that only come into contact with others of their species during rut. During rut, the male lays his chin on the female's back, smells her rear end, curls his upper lip, lays his forelegs on her back, and mounts her. Pudu navigate through the dense jungle by a network of well-marked trails. The trails lead to spots for resting and feeding. They form dung piles, the majority of which are found near resting places. Each pudu has its own territory, approximately 40-60 acres in area. (Grzimek, 1990)

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

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

Ecosystem Roles

Pudu puda are very susceptible to parasites, a problem made worse by their increasingly frequent contact with domestic dogs. The most common parasites include bladder worms, lung worms, and various types of round worms. (Grzimek, 1990)

Conservation Status

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)

Contributors

Sarah Pollard (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

Neotropical

living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

folivore

an animal that mainly eats leaves.

forest

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

frugivore

an animal that mainly eats fruit

herbivore

An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.

iteroparous

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

sexual ornamentation

one of the sexes (usually males) has special physical structures used in courting the other sex or fighting the same sex. For example: antlers, elongated tails, special spurs.

solitary

lives alone

tactile

uses touch to communicate

temperate

that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).

terrestrial

Living on the ground.

viviparous

reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.

References

Grzimek,B. 1990. Encyclpedia of Mammals:Volume 5. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York, St.Louis, San Francisco.

Nowak,R.M. 1997. http://www.press.jhu.edu...ctyla.cervidae.pudu.html