SANTIAGO – The southern pudú is the second smallest deer in the world and it is native to southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. However, they have declined in numbers due to the destruction of their habitat, predation, and hunting. Environment NGO Codeff wants the animal to be included in the government’s plan for the recovery, conservation, and management of species.
The destructive nature of forestry and farming industries in Chile has impacted the natural habitats of many species. Among these is the southern pudú (pudu puda), found between the Maule and Aysén regions. Currently, pudús are classified as near threatened, hence quick action is needed to protect them.
Codeff has launched the campaign “Be the Pudú’s Voice,” which is gathering signatures to send a formal petition to Chile’s Environment Ministry. The objective is to include the deer in the ministry’s RECOGE (Recovery, Conservation and Management) plan, which would then allocate resources to promote its conservation. The organization’s national director Mauricio Valente said, “With this plan there would be resources and technical tools for the recovery of the species, for dealing with the threats that have contributed to its population decrease, and for conservation for the future.”
¡Amig@s! Debido a la amenaza del Pudú, CODEFF lanzó la campaña de protección de esta especie. Los invitamos a leer la siguiente nota. ⬇️📰#CODEFF #Pudú #ElCiudadano #Protección #Fauna #Medioambiente #Biodiversidad #Chilehttps://t.co/ATAYGedkjl
— CODEFF Chile (@codeffchile) March 4, 2021
Valente also cited forestry and agriculture for the destruction of the pudú’s habitat: “areas have been cut or burned down to replace forests with fast-growing trees, such as the Pinus radiata and Eucaliptus sp. or to use them as farmland for livestock.” The introduction of exotic species like the red and fallow deer – which have a similar diet as the pudú – has also led to the decline as they fight for food.
On Mar. 2, Radio Biobío reported that organizations in Chiloé are demanding more efforts to protect the deer, after many have been killed by drivers, stray (and feral) dogs, and illegal hunters in the area.
To sign Codeff’s petition to protect the pudú, click here (in Spanish).