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Pseudalopex gymnocercus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CARNIVORA CANIDAE

Scientific Name: Pseudalopex gymnocercus
Species Authority: (G. Fischer, 1814)
Common Name/s:
English Pampas Fox, Azara's Zorro, Azara's Fox, Azara’s Fox
Spanish Zorro De Azara, Zorro De Campo, Zorro Del País, Zorro De Patas Amarillas, Zorro Pampa, Zorro Pampeano
French Renard D’azara, Renard D'Azara
Synonym/s:
Lycalopex gymnocercus (G. Fischer, 1814)
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: Jiménez, J.E., Lucherini, M. & Novaro, A.J.
Reviewer/s: Sillero-Zubiri, C. & Hoffmann, M. (Canid Red List Authority)
Justification:
The Pampas Fox inhabits the Southern Cone of South America, where it is either abundant or common in most areas where the species has been studied. The species seems to be tolerant of human disturbance, being common in rural areas, where introduced exotic mammals could form the bulk of its food intake. The species is not considered threatened at present.
History:
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Pampas Fox inhabits the Southern Cone of South America, occupying chiefly the Chaco, Argentine Monte, and Pampas eco-regions. From eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay and east of Salta, Catamarca, San Juan, La Rioja and Mendoza provinces in Argentina, to the Atlantic coast; and from south-eastern Brazil to the Río Negro Province, Argentina, in the south. Information on the limits of its distribution and the extent to which it overlaps with congeneric species is uncertain.
Countries:
Native:
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Paraguay; Uruguay
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Little quantitative data are available on the abundance of Pampas Fox populations. However, it would be either abundant or common in most areas where the species has been studied.

In the coastal area of central Argentina, a study based on scent-stations found that Pampas Fox signs were more frequent than the Common Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus chinga) and Grison (Galictis cuja) (García 2001). Similarly, the frequency of observation of Pampas Fox was higher than that of skunk, grison, and the Geoffroy's Cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi) in a Sierra grassland area of Buenos Aires Province (M. Lucherini et al. unpubl.). In areas where the Pampas Fox is sympatric with the Crab-eating Fox, the former would be more abundant in open habitats, while the latter would more frequently inhabit woodland areas.

The Pampas Fox seems to be tolerant of human disturbance, being common in rural areas, where introduced exotic mammals, such as the European hare (Lepus europaeus), could form the bulk of its food intake (Crespo 1971; Farias 2000a; D. Birochio and M. Lucherini unpubl.).
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Pampas Fox is a typical inhabitant of the Southern Cone Pampas grasslands. It prefers open habitats and tall grass plains and sub-humid to dry habitats, but is also common in ridges, dry scrub lands and open woodlands (Brooks 1992; Redford and Eisenberg 1992). In the driest habitats in the southerly and easterly parts of its range, the species is replaced by the Chilla. Where its range overlaps with that of the Crab-eating Fox, the Pampas Fox would select more open areas. Apparently, the Pampas Fox has been able to adapt to the alterations caused by extensive cattle breeding and agricultural activities to its natural habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The implementation of control measures (promoted by ranchers) by official organizations, coupled with the use of non-selective methods of capture, represent actual threats for the Pampas Fox. Fox control by government agencies involves the use of bounty systems without any serious studies on population abundance or the real damage that this species may cause. In rural areas, direct persecution is also common, even where hunting is officially illegal.
Most of the species' range has suffered massive habitat alteration. For instance, the Pampas, which represents a large proportion of the species' distribution range, has been affected by extensive cattle breeding and agriculture. Approximately 0.1% of the original 500,000 km² range remains unaffected. However, due to the species' adaptability, the Pampas Fox seems able to withstand the loss and degradation of its natural habitat, as well as hunting pressure. Since no studies are available on its population dynamics in rural ecosystems, caution is required, since the sum of these threats may eventually promote the depletion of fox populations. Hunting pressure has resulted in diminished populations in the provinces of Tucumán (Barquez et al. 1991) and Salta (Cajal 1986) of north-western Argentina.

Considering that the Pampas Fox trade is banned, no statistical information on the fur harvest is available. Different authors have pointed out that Argentine exports corresponding to the Chilla historically included other species, such as the Crab-eating Fox and the Pampas Fox (Ojeda and Mares 1982; García Fernandez 1991).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Included in CITES – Appendix II (as Lycalopex gymnocercus).

In Uruguay, the Pampas Fox has been reported in many protected areas which are included in a law passed in 2000 establishing the national protected areas system. However, this law has not been implemented yet (R. Rodríguez-Mazzini and D. Queirolo Morato pers. comm.).

In Argentina, it was declared not threatened in 1983 and its trade was prohibited in 1987. However, this species continues to be hunted and demand for its fur exists.

In Uruguay, all foxes are protected by law, and the only legal exception is the government's so-called "control hunting permission", which does not allow the taking of animals for the fur trade. The situation is very similar in Paraguay.

In Argentina, the Pampas Fox has been successfully bred in captivity and presently is the best represented carnivore species in captivity in the country (Aprile 1999).

Gaps in knowledge
Most aspects of the species' ecology remain unknown. Studies on population dynamics in agricultural land, impact and sustainability of hunting, effect of predation on livestock and game species are needed, particularly for an appropriate management of wild populations. In addition, resolution of the species' taxonomic status is essential.
Citation: Jiménez, J.E., Lucherini, M. & Novaro, A.J. 2008. Pseudalopex gymnocercus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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