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South American Gray Fox - Lycalopex griseus
#1
South American Gray Fox - Lycalopex griseus 

[Image: Zorrito_Chile.JPG]

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Lycalopex
Species: L. griseus

Description: The South American gray fox is a small fox-like canid, weighing 2.5 to 5.45 kilograms (5.5 to 12.0 lb), and measuring 65 to 110 centimetres (26 to 43 in) in length including a tail of 20 to 43 cm (8 to 17 in). The head is reddish-brown flecked with white. The ears are large and there is a distinct black spot on the chin. The pelage is brindled, with agouti guard hairs and a short, dense pale undercoat. The underparts are pale grey. The limbs are tawny and the thighs are crossed by a dark bar. The long, bushy tail has a dark dorsal stripe and dark tip with a paler, mottled underside.

[Image: Pareja_Zorro_Chilla%2C_Volc%C3%A1n_Lonqu...8jun14.jpg]

Range and habitat: The South American gray fox is found in the Southern Cone of South America, particularly in Argentina and Chile. Its range comprises a stripe, both sides of the Andes Mountain Range between parallels 17ºS (northernmost Chile) and 54ºS (Tierra del Fuego).
In Argentina, this species inhabits the western semiarid region of the country, from the Andean spurs (ca. 69ºW) to meridian 66ºW. South from the Río Grande, the distribution of the fox widens reaching the Atlantic coast. In Chile, it is present throughout the country. Its presence in Peru has been mentioned; to date, however, there has been no confirmation of it. The South American gray fox was introduced to the Falkland Islands in the late 1920s early 1930s and is still present in quite large numbers on Beaver and Weddell Islands plus several smaller islands.
The South American gray fox occurs in a variety of habitats, from the warm, arid scrublands of the Argentine uplands and the cold, arid Patagonian steppe to the forests of southernmost Chile.

[Image: Pseudalopex_griseus_range_map.png]

Diet: The diet varies in different parts of its range and at different times of year. It consists mainly of mammals, birds, arthropods, bird eggs, reptiles, fruit and carrion. The main prey items seem to be small mammals, especially rodents. Fruits eaten include Cryptocarya alba, Lithraea caustica and Prosopanche spp.

Reproduction: The South American gray fox breeds in late austral fall, around March. After a gestation period of two months, two to four kits are born in a den. Not much else is recorded about its lifestyle.
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  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu, theGrackle
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#2
Diet of the gray fox Lycalopex griseus in an agroecosystem of southern-central Chile 

Lycalopex griseus is a canid distributed in Chile and part of Argentina. Although its food habits have been extensively documented, data for anthropized environments are missing. Understanding the response of this species in these habitats is key, given the progressive modification of the landscape throughout its range. The study area is an agroecosystem of southern-central Chile. Scats were collected throughout the study area and analyzed in the laboratory. Food remains in scats were identified to species and quantified, considering the percentage of the various prey categories in terms of both relative frequency and relative biomass. Thirteen categories were found, with rodents dominating in terms of both relative frequency and percent biomass, followed by birds and arthropods. The presence of exotic species in the food spectrum is highlighted, represented by orders Lagomorpha and Rodentia. Plant material was found to a lesser extent. The diversity of preys evidences that Lycalopex griseus is mainly generalist in this type of habitat, as arboreal species were scarce in the diet, an expected finding considering 
the predominance of herbaceous vegetation in the study area. Lagomorphs were poorly represented compared to other latitudes, suggesting 
segregation with other species.

[Image: 4TruZDL.png]

Results
A total of 73 scat samples were collected, finding 13 prey categories or items. These were dominated by mammals — mainly rodents of the family Cricetidae (4 species) and Muridae (1 species; Table 1), with a combined relative frequency of nearly 50 % (Figure 1). In addition, the remains (incisors and nails), of an Echimyidae, the coypu (Myocastor coypus), which  was the prey of largest size. Lagomorphs — an exotic group at this latitude — were also included in this dietary pattern. Birds and arthropods ranked second to mammals in relative frequency of consumption by the gray fox. The trophic diversity was β = 7.43 + 1.93 (excluding plant materials). 
Native species (mammals) were represented by five species (62.5 % of total), with an abundance of 54 individuals (79.41%; non-identified rodents were excluded in both cases).
The evaluation of the effect of prey biomass on trophic isoclines revealed that rodents exceeded the 50 % isocline despite representing 40 % of total biomass (Figure 2). The coypu and the hare (Lepus europaeus) were assigned to an intermediate isocline (5 %), while the rest of preys analyzed were allocated to the lowest isocline (1 %). The geometric mean for the preys analyzed was 35.35 grams.

[Image: ky5VbOn.png]
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#3
DIET OF LYCALOPEX GRISEUS (GRAY, 1837) (MAMMALIA: CANIDAE) IN THE INTERMEDIATE DEPRESSION OF SOUTHERN CHILE 

A study about food habits of chilla (Lycalopex griseus) was done in a sector of the intermediate depression of southern Chile, called Predio Rucamanque, Region de la Araucanía. Faeces were collected through three seasons of the year, identifying their diet composition. Results show a trend towards small mammals followed by birds, and in a lesser ratio, insects.

[Image: tab1-13.jpg]
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