Successful breeding program has produced 4 fawns in 5 years
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(Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)
Queens, NY – June 13, 2017 – A southern pudu fawn (Pudu puda) – the world’s smallest deer species – was born at the WCS’s (Wildlife Conservation Society) Queens Zoo.
The Queens Zoo has seen substantial success with its pudu breeding program in recent years having produced four fawns in the last five years. The species is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Both the Queens and Bronx Zoos breed them as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability and demographic stability of animal populations in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
All animals at the Queens Zoo are native to North and South America. Southern pudu are from Chile and Argentina. WCS works in both countries to curb threats to pudu and other wildlife. Threats to the species include habitat loss and predation by domestic and feral animals.
Pudu have some interesting behavioral adaptations for a deer species. They bark when they sense danger, and when chased, they run in a zig-zag pattern to escape predators.
The fawn was born on May 17 and is male. The white spots, characteristic to newborns of many deer species, will fade and disappear as the fawn gets older. He will grow quickly, but will only be approximately 12-14 inches tall as an adult.