In the wild, pudu can be hard to find, as they live solitary lives in the dense forest. To get around, they follow well-stamped paths to sites where they can rest or feed. They are small and nimble, able to stand on their hind legs or jump on a downed tree in search of food.
Pudu eat leaves, buds, fruits, berries, and acorns from a variety of trees and shrubs.
Males reach maturity by 18 months, while females get there around six. They give birth to one fawn a year, generally in the spring. In zoos, pudu have been known to live nearly 18 years.
Some of My Neighbors
Magellanic Woodpeckers, Hummingbirds, Chilean Shrew Opossums, Darwin’s Toads
Population Status & Threats
Because of threats, like poaching and habitat loss, the pudu population is estimated to have dipped under 10,000. They are considered vulnerable to extinction and their population is thought to still be declining.
WCS Conservation Efforts
The Queens Zoo breeds pudu as part of the Species Survival Program, designed to help support vulnerable animals through captive breeding. WCS is also quite active in the pudu’s home range, trying to help stave off threats in the wild. The organization has worked since the 1960s to set aside protected lands in Argentina, with many successes. In Chile, the recent creation of the Karukinka nature reserve toward the southern tip of the continent is a major accomplishment, establishing a model for further preservation.
Learn more about WCS’s work in Latin America and the Carribean.