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Pampas Fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus)

  • Pampas Fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus)

    Common Name/s: Pampas fox 
    Scientific name: Lycalopex gymnocercus
    Brazilian common name/s: Graxaim-do-campo

    Quick facts (average values with minimum and maximum in parenthesis)


    Body length (cm): 64 (50-74)a Tail (cm):  33 (25-41)a 
    Diet: Omnivorous a,b
    Weight (kg): 5 (3-6)a Height (cm):  Home range (km2): 
    Litter size: (3-5) a Gestation (days): (55-60) a Longevity (years): 
    Social structure: Solitary or breeding pairs a
    Activity pattern: Nocturnal and diurnal a,c

    a (Lucherini et al. 2004), b (Garcia & Kittein 2005), c (Di Bitetti et al. 2009)

    Physical description
    A medium sized canid, very similar to Cerdocyon thous but lighter coloured on the back and silvery-gray on the front paws, with a very dense coat.

    Habitat and Ecology
    Pampas Foxes occur in the central-east of South America, from southern Brazil and eastern Bolivia, and are strongly associated with open grassland habitats of pampas, savannas, and chaco (Lucherini et al. 2004).
    They show both nocturnal and diurnal peaks in activity, and become more active during the day where they occur in the same areas as the predominantly nocturnal Crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous - Di Bitetti et al. 2009).
    Their generalist diet consists of small vertebrates (mainly mammals), insects, fruits, and carrion (Farias & Kittlein 2008; Garcia & Kittein 2005). Their diet seems to vary with habitat and prey availability and has also been shown to alter as a result of human disturbances (Farias & Kittlein 2008).

    Threats and Conservation
    There is no data on how populations of this canid respond to agricultural expansion, however habitat loss is likely to be the one of the main threats to the species, as is culling as a result of predation on domestic livestock especially lambs and chickens.
    It is not listed as endangered by IUCN or IBAMA, but is on Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of flora and fauna threatened with extinction).

    Online links
    IUCN Canid Specialist Group - http://www.canids.org

    The world"s chief body of scientific and practical expertise on the status and conservation of all canid species

    Canid News – http://www.canids.org/canidnews/index.htm

    Free online peer reviewed publications published by the IUCN Canid Specialist Group

    REFERENCES
    Di Bitetti, M. S., Di Blanco, Y. E., Pereira, J. A., Paviolo, A., & Perez, I. J. (2009). Time partitioning favors the coexistence of sympatric Crab-eating Foxes (Cerdocyon thous) and Pampas Foxes (Lycalopex gymnocercus). Journal of Mammalogy, 90, 479-490.

    Farias, A. A., & Kittlein, M. J. (2008). Small-scale spatial variability in the diet of pampas foxes (Pseudalopex gymnocercus) and human-induced changes in prey base. Ecological Research, 23, 543-550.

    Garcia, V. B., & Kittein, M. J. (2005). Diet, habitat use, and relative abundance of pampas fox (Pseudalopex gymnocercus) in northern Patagonia, Argentina. Mammalian Biology, 70, 218-226.

    Lucherini, M., Pessino, M., & Farias, A. A. (2004). Pampas fox Pseudalopex gymnocercus (Fischer, 1814). In C. Sillero-Zubiri, M. Hoffmann & D. W. Macdonald (Eds.), Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (pp. 63-68). Gland / Cambrigde: IUCN.

     

     

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