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The Southern Pudu (Pudu puda) is a species of deer native to South America, found in the temperate forests of Chile and Argentina. It is the smallest species of deer in the world, standing only about 1 foot tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 44 pounds.
The Southern Pudu has a reddish-brown coat with white spots and distinctive, curved antlers in males. It is a solitary animal, spending most of its time in dense vegetation and underbrush. They are herbivores, feeding mainly on leaves, shoots, and small plants.
In the wild, the Southern Pudu has a lifespan of up to 8 years. They are considered to be a species of "least concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but their populations have declined due to habitat loss and hunting pressure.
Conservation efforts are underway to protect and conserve the Southern Pudu and its habitat, including habitat restoration and protection, law enforcement, and education campaigns. Additionally, the species is protected under Chilean law, and hunting is strictly prohibited.
Overall, the Southern Pudu is a unique and fascinating species, known for its small size and distinctive appearance, and plays an important role in the forest ecosystem in South America.