Southern pudu
Southern Pudu, Edinburgh Zoo.jpg
Southern pudu (P. puda)
CITES Appendix I (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Capreolinae
Genus: Pudu
P. puda
Binomial name
Pudu puda
(Molina, 1782)
Pudu puda Range.png
Geographic range of Pudu puda

Capra puda Molina, 1782[3]

The southern pudu (Pudu puda, Mapudungun püdü or püdu,[4] Spanish: pudú, Spanish pronunciation: [puˈðu]) is a species of South American deer native to the Andes of Chile and Argentina. It is found in high-altitude forests and is classified as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List.


The southern pudu is characterized by being the second smallest deer in the world. It is slightly larger than its sister species, the northern pudu, being 35 to 45 cm (14 to 18 in) tall at the shoulder and weighs 6.4 to 13.4 kg (14 to 30 lb). The antlers of the southern pudu grow to be 5.3 to 9 cm (2.1 to 3.5 in) long and tend to curve back, somewhat like a mountain goat. Its coat is a dark chestnut-brown, and tends to tuft in the front, covering the antlers.[5] It is found at lower elevations than its sister species, from sea level to 2,000 m (6,600 ft).

Genetic diversity

Analysis of the mtDNA control region and cytochrome b of the southern pudu across Chile revealed that different populations have marked genetic differences, with a large number of unique haplotypes in each population and few shared haplotypes between populations. This indicates that gene flow is reduced and most populations are reproductively isolated from each other.[6] The population from Chiloé Island is estimated to have become isolated from continental populations more than 200 thousand years ago and may constitute a separate subspecies.[7] This reproductive isolation makes each population an important evolutionary unit but also increases their vulnerability since a drastic reduction in the number of individuals would decrease genetic diversity without recovery from migrating individuals coming from neighboring areas.[6]

Further reading


  1. ^ Silva-Rodríguez, E.; Pastore, H.; Jiménez, J. (2016). "Pudu puda". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T18848A22164089. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T18848A22164089.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ Molina, Giovanni Ignazio (1782). "Il Pudu, Capra Puda". Saggio sulla storia naturale del Chili. Bologna: S. Tommaso d'Aquino. pp. 308–309.
  4. ^ Muñoz Urrutia, Rafael, ed. (2006). Diccionario Mapuche: Mapudungun/Español, Español/Mapudungun (in Spanish) (2nd ed.). Santiago, Chile: Editorial Centro Gráfico Ltda. p. 184. ISBN 956-8287-99-X.
  5. ^ "Forest South America". Animal Welfare Institute. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  6. ^ a b Colihueque, Nelson; Cabello, Javier; Fuentes-Moliz, Andrea (21 June 2022). "Genetic divergence and demography of pudu deer (Pudu puda) in five provinces of southern Chile, analyzed through latitudinal and longitudinal ranges". Neotropical Biology and Conservation. 17 (2): 117–142. doi:10.3897/neotropical.17.e81324. eISSN access
  7. ^ Fuentes-Hurtado, Marcelo; Marín, Juan C.; González-Acuña, Daniel; Verdugo, Claudio; Vidal, Fernando; Vianna, Juliana A. (14 March 2011). "Molecular divergence between insular and continental Pudu deer (Pudu puda) populations in the Chilean Patagonia". Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment. 46 (1): 23–33. doi:10.1080/01650521.2010.537906. eISSN 1744-5140. ISSN 0165-0521.