Northern Pudu (Pudu mephistophiles)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 0925185
The Andes created numerous niches, as it is a complex ecosystem, separating populations that might have diverged into different species. As deer species from the montane rainforest of the eastern Andes are difficult to find and are poorly represented in mammal collections of Natural History Museums, some wait to be discovered. Therefore,several "deer morphs" undescribed to science should be analyzed genetically and morphologically.
The Northern Pudu (Pudu mephistophiles) is one of these species, as it has two allopatric populations, separated by a deep and wide dry area. The two poulations were suggested by the PR as separate sub-species or species, which, after the field and genetic lab study, proved to be right at species level. The publication is currently in the last stages to be sent for review.
The Peruvian dwarf brocket deer (Mazama chunyi) is parapatric to the southern population of Pudu mephistophiles. While a distrubution model for each of these species overlaps between each other, they do not. It seems that the presence of another dry forest cutting through the yungas (cloud and montane eastern highland forests) and being both species similar in size and feeding ecology, keep each one to the northern and southern sides of the dry forest.
Project 0925185 location - Peru, South America