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Southern pudu

Pudu puda

Southern pudu

Pudu are one of the smallest members of the true deer family. They live in small herds often made up of a male, female and young and are active by night and day. Because of their small size, they often stand on their hind legs or on top of fallen trees to reach the foliage. They can go long periods of time without drinking, getting most of their water from succulent plants.

The males grow small antlers in the breeding season that shed annually. Young are born a light brown colour and their fur is covered with small white spots, to help them camouflage in the undergrowth when they are left alone while the mother feeds.

Habitat
Forest

Diet - Herbivore
Pudu eat fruit, ferns, vines, flowers, buds and small tree foliage.

Size
Pudus measure up to 83 centimetres (cm) in length. They are around 43cm high and can weigh up to 13 kilograms.

Location
Southern pudu live in the dense lowland forests of south Chile and south-west Argentina.

Conservation status
The IUCN believes the southern pudu faces a high risk of extinction in the wild. The species is listed under Appendix I of CITES.

Threats
Southern pudu are under threat from the destruction of their natural habitat, being hunted for food and competition from other species.

Current population
There is no official estimate of how many pudu are left in the wild but experts believe it could be less than 10,000.

Zoo population
There is an EEP for southern pudu. There are more than 140 Southern pudu living in zoos around the world.

Keys to acronyms

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

EEP - European Endangered Species Programme

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