An Ultimate Ungulate Fact SheetReturn to Artiodactyla

Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
      Order: Artiodactyla
        Family: Cervidae
          Subfamily: Capreolinae
            Genus: Pudu

Pudu puda

      Southern pudu


Pudu puda [Molina, 1782].  
Citation: Sagg. Stor. Nat. Chile, p. 310
Type locality: Chile, Chiloe Prov.

Click on the pictures above for a larger view of the photographs

General Characteristics

Body Length: 85 cm / 2.8 ft.
Shoulder Height: 35-38 cm / 14-15.2 in.
Tail Length: 8 cm / 3.2 in.
Weight: 9-15 kg / 20-33 lb.

The short, glossy coat is reddish brown in colour, with the underparts and legs slightly lighter.  The preorbital glands on the face are very long.  The lips and insides of the ears are orangey.  The legs are short and the body quite round.  Fawns are spotted with white.  Males sport short, simple spiked antlers which grow7-10 cm / 2.8-4 inches long, and are shed annually in July.

Ontogeny and Reproduction

Gestation Period: 210 days.
Young per Birth: 1
Weaning: At 2 months.
Sexual Maturity: Females at 6 months, males at 8-12 months.
Life span: 8-10 years.

In the wild, mating occurs during the fall, with the resulting young being born the next spring (November-January).  The young are physically fully grown at 3 months of age.

Ecology and Behavior

The pudu is most active during the late afternoon, evening, and morning.  They often stand upright on their hind legs or jump onto fallen tree trunks in order to reach higher vegetation.  Pudu can survive for long durations without drinking, getting the needed moisture from plants.  They are very wary, pausing when feeding to check the wind.   When chased, they run in a zig-zag pattern.  For regular travel, pudu create well defined trails through dense vegetation leading to feeding and resting areas.  Dung piles are often found next to these trails, usually near a resting place.  Home ranges are utilized, usually measuring 16-26 hectares in size.

Family group: Solitary.
Diet: Leaves, twigs, bark, buds, fruit, seeds.
Main Predators: Cougar, Magellan fox, Andes fox, small cats, eagle owl.


Various: from rainforests to bamboo thickets below the snow line (~1,700 m / 5,500 feet) in southern Chile and Argentina.

Range Map (Redrawn from Eldridge et al., 1987)

Conservation Status

The southern pudu is considered vulnerable by the IUCN (1996).


Pudu is a Spanish word from the Mapuche, a people of southern Chile.

Literature Cited

Eldridge, W. D., M. M. MacNamara, and N. V. Pacheco.  1987.  Activity patterns and habitat utilization of pudus (Pudu puda) in south-central Chile.  In Biology and Management of the Cervidae.  Edited by C. M. Wemmer.  Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. pp. 352-370.

MacNamara, M.  1990.  Guemals, Pudus, and Brockets (Genera Hippocamelus, Pudu, and Mazama).  In Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals.  Edited by S. P. Parker.  New York: McGraw-Hill.  Volume 5, pp. 219-229.

Nowak, R. M. [editor]. 1991.  Walker's Mammals of the World (Fifth Edition).  Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder [editors]. 1993. Mammal Species of the World (Second Edition). Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.  Available online at

Additional Resources

Cortes, R. I., A. O. Angulo, R. Guzman, and E. Reyes.  1988.  Behaviour of pudu (Pudu puda (Molina)) in captivity (Mammalia, Cervidae).  Gayana Zoologia; 52(1-2): 3-14.
Hershkovitz, P.  1982.  Neotropical Deer (Cervidae) Part I. Pudus, Genus Pudu Gray. Fieldiana [Zoology], New Series, No. 11: 1-86.

Junge, C.  1966.  Pudu (Pudu pudu) at Chillan Viejo Zoo.  International Zoo Yearbook; 6: 263-264.

Kohls, G. M. 1969.  Ixodes taglei n. sp. (Acarina:Ixodidae) a parasite of the deer Pudu pudu (M.) in Chile.  Journal of Medical Entomology; 6(3): 280-283.

MacNamara, M.  1990.  Guemals, Pudus, and Brockets (Genera Hippocamelus, Pudu, and Mazama).   In Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Edited by S. P. Parker. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 219-229.

MacNamara, M., and W. Eldridge.  1987.  Behavior and reproduction captive pudu (Pudu puda) and red brocket (Mazama americana), a descriptive and comparative analysis.  In Biology and Management of the Cervidae.  Edited by C. M. Wemmer.  Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. pp. 371-387.

Miller, S. D., J. D. Rottmann, and R. D. Taber.  1973.  Dwindling and endangered ungulates of Chile: Vicuna, Lama, Hippocamelus, and Pudu.  Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resource Conference; 38: 55-68.

Miller, S. D., J. D. Rottmann, K. J. Raedeke, and R. D. Taber.  1983.  Endangered mammals of Chile: Status and conservation.  Biological Conservation; 25: 335-352.

Whitehead, K. G.  1993.  The Whitehead Encyclopedia of Deer.  Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, Inc.

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