This species is the smallest deer in the world. They usually hide away in forested areas, which provide protection against predators. Southern Pudu live in family groups.


The Pudu can be found from close to sea-level right up almost to the snow line in their mountainous habitats. They have set paths through their territory, allowing them to move easily through dense vegetation, and these are also marked with dung. Southern pudu are most active at dawn and again in the late afternoon. They are surprisingly agile, climbing or standing upright on their hind legs to browse on vegetation that would otherwise be out of reach.


Distribution: This species occurs further south than its northern relative, in the southern Andean region of Chile and Argentina, at altitudes of up to 1700 m (5500 ft).

Habitat: Humid forest.

Weight: 9 – 15 kg (20 – 33 lb); young are fully grown by 3 months.

Length: 93 cm (37 in), including tail; up to 38 cm (15 in) tall.

Maturity: Females 6 months; males 8 – 12 months

Gestation Period: 200 – 220 days; weaning occurs 2 months later.

Number of Offspring: 1.

Diet: Herbivorous, browsing on plants, including bark, also eating fruit and seeds.

Lifespan: 8 – 10 years.

Status: Vulnerable.


Present only in males, these curving spikes grow to a maximum length of just 10 cm (4 in).


The ears are large and rounded, set well back on the head, and are orange in colour, matching the lips.


The coat is short and reddish-brown, lighter on the legs.


The legs of Pudu are short and slender, while the body is rounded in appearance.


Hunters such as the cougar stalk these small deer. Smaller cats, foxes and birds of prey present dangers, too.

Southern pudus have grey and brown fur. They have short, thick legs and the males have small spikes for antlers.

Northern Pudu

(Pudu mephistophiles)

Range: South America: Colombia to N. Peru.

Habitat: Forest, swampy savanna at 6,600 – 1 3,000 ft (2,000 – 4,000 m).

Size: Body: 25 1/2 in (65 cm); Tail: 1 – 1 1/4 in (2.5 – 3.5 cm).

The smallest New World deer, the northern pudu has a rounded back and small, simple antlers. Its dark-brown hair is thick and dense. Little is known of its habits, but it is thought to live in small groups or alone and to eat leaves, shoots and fruit. Females produce a single young, sometimes twins, usually between November and January.