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Lycalopex vetulus 

Scope: Global
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Canidae

Scientific Name: Lycalopex vetulus
Species Authority: Lund, 1842
Common Name(s):
English Hoary Fox, Small-toothed Dog, Hoary Zorro
French Renard Du Brésil
Spanish Zorro De Campo Común
Synonym(s):
Pseudalopex vetulus (Lund, 1842)
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: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Dalponte, J. & Courtenay, O.
Reviewer(s): Sillero-Zubiri, C. & Hoffmann, M. (Canid Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern as this Brazilian endemic is relatively widespread and locally abundant in the central highland cerrado biome, and exhibits some adaptability to anthropogenic disturbance. There are at present no major known threats believed to be resulting in a significant range-wide decline.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Hoary Fox is confined to Brazil, associated with the cerrado habitats (mosaic of grasslands and xerophytic vegetation) of the central Brazilian plateau, and peripheral transitional zones including dry open habitats of the Pantanal (Mato Grosso state). Confirmed in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Goiás (J. Dalponte unpubl.), southern and western Bahia (Juarez and Marinho-Filho 2002; J. Dalponte, pers. obs.), and western Piauí in Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara (F. Olmos pers. comm.). Capture records of an extant specimen held in Teresina Zoological Park indicate its northerly geographical limit is probably in north Piauí (Costa and Courtenay 2003). A previous report of its occurrence in Ceará (north-east Brazil) (Deane 1956) was contested by Courtenay et al. (1996). Records along the Brazil-Bolivian border in Mato Grosso (Anderson 1997) are unsubstantiated; the nearest record is 70 km to the south in the Pantanal (Mato Grosso do Sul) (J. Dalponte unpubl.).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Brazil
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is locally abundant in the central highland cerrado biome, but populations appear smaller than those of the sympatric Crab-eating Fox for which population estimates are similarly lacking.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs in open cerrado habitats, but readily adapts to insect-rich livestock pastures and areas of agriculture (soybean, rice, corn, eucalyptus plantation). Rarely observed in densely wooded cerrado, floodplains, dry or gallery forests.
Systems:Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The principal biome where Hoary Foxes occur is the cerrado which is being destroyed at a rate of 3% each year, largely in the interests of agriculture (livestock and soybean) (MMA-BRASIL 1998). However, it appears that Hoary Foxes adapt to livestock pasture rich in termites and dung beetles. Breeding foxes are found in deforested wooded areas (J. Dalponte, pers. obs.), thus it is possible that deforestation may not have a negative impact on the species. Areas of high human population density are unlikely to be suitable. The species is not exploited for fur or any other products.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in a number of protected areas throughout its range.

The species is currently listed as Least Concern on the Brazilian Red List (Machado et al. 2005); it is classified as Near Threatened in the Minas Gerais state list.

Hunting and trade in wildlife is generally forbidden in Brazil. There is no specific hunting legislation for Hoary Foxes.

Specimens in Brazilian zoos at the time of writing include: Brasilia (1); São Paulo (1); Ribeirão Preto (1); Belo Horizonte (5); Teresina (1). High mortality rates due to starvation amongst captive cubs are reported. There are no current plans to reintroduce hoary foxes into the wild.

Gaps in Knowledge
Areas for further research include focusing on aspects of behavioural ecology, population status, geographical range, the potential role of disease in population regulation, and their status as potential reservoirs of veterinary (e.g., scabies, distemper) and public health (e.g., leishmaniasis, rabies) pathogens.

Citation: Dalponte, J. & Courtenay, O. 2008. Lycalopex vetulus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T6926A12815527. . Downloaded on 31 July 2016.
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