Northern Pudu Pudu mephistopheles

Measurements:
Head & Body Length- 60 to 80 cm
Shoulder Height- up to 35 cm
Tail length- 2 to 3 cm
Weight- 8 to 10 kilograms

Physical Appearance

The Northern Pudu is a small species of deer, only slightly larger than the Southern Pudu. It has a small rounded body, thin delicate legs, and short spike like antlers. The coat is dark brown in colour, and is thick and dense, offering good protection from the harsh elements of the habitat in which it lives. The ears are small and rounded, and the tail is short. The pre-orbital glands are small. The antlers are only short simple spikes. There are two species of Pudu, the Northern Pudu is smaller than the Southern species and it lives in different habitats than its southern counterpart.

 

Distribution

The Northern Pudu lives in the South American countries of Ecuador and Peru where it is found on the Paramos and Punas regions. It has a more northerly distribution than the Southern Pudu.

 

Habitat

It lives on high mountain slopes and steppe lands, mostly at altitudes of between 3,000 and 4,000 metres in height. It is not seen at lower levels unlike the Southern Pudu. It normally lives in fairly open habitats without much cover, being found on high grasslands and scrublands.

 

Breeding

Little is known about the reproductive life of this species. It is though that they males may be territorial, and mate with the females present within their territories. After a 200 day long gestation period, normally a single young is born. This is unspotted unlike the young of the Southern Pudu. The young stay with the mother until they are about a year of age, when they become sexually mature.

 

Behaviour

As of yet, little is known about the behaviour and lifestyle of this animal. It is shy and secretive. And because of the difficult terrain in which it lives, research into it has been hindered and is extremely difficult. It appears to live either alone or in small pairings, in small territories. The Northern Pudu feeds mainly on grasses and herbaceous plants which it finds within the habitat in which it lives.