Lycalopex sechurae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Canidae

Scientific Name: Lycalopex sechurae
Species Authority: Thomas, 1900
Common Name(s):
English Sechuran Fox, Peruvian Desert Fox, Sechuran Desert Fox
French Renard De Sechura
Spanish Juancito, Pacha Zorro, Perro De Monte De Sechura, Zorra Pampera, Zorro Costeño, Zorro De Sechura
Pseudalopex sechurae (Thomas, 1900)
Taxonomic Source(s): Zunino, G.E., Vaccaro, O.B., Canevari, M. and Gardner, A.L. 1995. Taxonomy of the genus Lycalopex (Carnivora: Canidae) in Argentina. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 108: 729–747.
Taxonomic Notes: Included in the genus Lycalopex by Wozencraft (2005), but here retained in Pseudalopex.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Asa, C.S., Cossíos, E.D. & Williams, R.
Reviewer(s): Sillero-Zubiri, C. & Hoffmann, M. (Canid Red List Authority)
The Sechuan Fox has a relatively limited range in the coastal zones of northwestern Peru and southwestern Ecuador. Currently, the population is estimated to number fewer than 15,000 mature individuals, and is thought likely to experience a continuing decline nearing 10% over the coming decade largely as a result of ongoing habitat loss and degradation combined with persecution, and it is here provisionally listed as Near Threatened. Almost qualifies as threatened under criterion C1.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Sechuran Fox can be found in the coastal zones of north-western Peru and south-western Ecuador, between 3 and 12°S. In Peru, it is distributed on the western slope of the Andes between the frontier with Ecuador and Lima. Specimens living further south may be the Chilla Pseudalopex griseus or another species not yet described (E. Vivar pers. comm.).
Countries occurrence:
Ecuador; Peru
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species was judged by Grimwood (1969) as being abundant at the time and not in need of protection. The species is often observed in rural areas and disturbed environments from Piura department to La Libertad department in Peru. Surveys based on footprints in Coto de Caza El Angolo in Piura, Peru, recorded an average of 12.6 foxes/km (CDC 1989). The Sechuran Fox is uncommon in Ecuador.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Sechuran Fox occupies habitats ranging from sandy deserts with low plant density to agricultural lands and dry forests (Cabrera 1931; Huey 1969; Langguth 1975).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The most important threats to this species are from the market for handicrafts and amulets and from persecution because of damage to livestock. In Peru, the typical attitude towards this species is one of persecution (68.3% of correspondents) or indifference (31.7%). The stated reasons for persecution were due to damage on domestic fowl and guinea pigs (65% of correspondents), the consumption of vegetal or stored goods (13.3%), and the belief of goat predation (10%) (D. Cossíos, unpubl.).

Illegal sale of pups, of amulets made from body parts, and of handicrafts made from fur occurs principally in the markets of Tumbes, Chiclayo, Piura and Lima city. The most common type of handicraft made with fox parts consists of preserved adult animals in a "sitting" position. This activity is limited almost exclusively to the department of Piura, Peru. The practice of magic-religious rituals by shamans involving preserved Sechuran Fox specimens or parts is the principal human use of this species in Peru. The specimens are used to attract "good spirits" or "positive energies" during premonition rituals or to manufacture amulets (called seguros) with different purposes. Some shamans use also the Sechuran Fox's fat for the treatment of bronchial illness and stomach disorders (D. Cossíos, unpubl.).

The Sechuran Fox also faces some pressure in agricultural zones and from urbanization and habitat degradation; indeed, habitat reduction or loss is considered the principle threat to this species in Ecuador (Tirira 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Not included in the CITES Appendices.

Between 1975 and 2000, a governmental authorization was required to hunt the species in Peru. Since 2000, hunting outside the established areas and trade of the species has been prohibited. The police and the Ministry of Agriculture are responsible for the control of illegal trade. However, it has proven especially difficult to control trade in rural areas and in some cities. Currently, there are no international treaties or conventions regarding this species.

This species occurs in several protected areas in Ecuador and Peru.

The Sechuran Fox was not traditionally protected, for cultural reasons, until recently. Now it is protected in Santa Catalina de Chongoyape, a rural community of Lambayeque department, because they are considered important for tourism and as seed dispersers (D. Cossíos, unpubl.).

Some specimens are kept in the authorized collections, including Parque de las Leyendas Zoo, Lima (26 specimens) and Atocongo Zoo, Lima (three specimens).

Citation: Asa, C.S., Cossíos, E.D. & Williams, R. 2008. Lycalopex sechurae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T6925A12815186. . Downloaded on 19 August 2017.
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