Pseudalopex gymnocercus 


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
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)
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

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 occurrence:
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.).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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.

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.

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

Bibliography [top]

Aprile, G. 1999. Registro de Animales Silvestres Autóctonos en Establecimientos Zoológicos de la República Argentina. Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (comps and eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Barquez, R., Mares, M. and Ojeda, R. 1991. Mamíferos de Tucumán. Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, USA.

Brooks, D. 1992. Notes on group size, density, and habitat association of the Pampas fox (Dusicyon gymnocercus) in the Paraguayan Chaco. Mammalia 56: 314-316.

Cajal, J. L. 1986. El recurso fauna en Argentina. Antecedentes y cuadro de situación actual. Ministerio de Educación y Justicia, Secretaría de Ciencia y Técnica, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Crespo, J. A. 1971. Ecología del zorro gris Dusicyon gymnocercus antiquus (Ameghino) en la provincia de La Pampa. Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia". Ecologia 5: 147-205.

Díaz, G.B. and Ojeda, R.A. (eds). 2000. Libro rojo: mamíferos amenazados de la Argentina. pp. 106. Soc. Argentina para el Estudio de los Mamíferos, Buenos Aires.

Farias, A. A. 2000. Composición y variación estacional de la dieta del zorro gris pampeano (Pseudalopex gymnocercus?) en la laguna Mar Chiquita (Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina). B.Sc. Thesis, UNMdP.

García Fernandez, J. 1991. Administrando para conservar: el caso de los zorros autóctonos de la Argentina. In: M. C. Funes and A. J. Novaro (eds), Actas Tercera Reunión Patagónica sobre el Manejo de Poblaciones de Zorros, pp. 25-36. Junín de Los Andes, Argentina.

García, V. B. 2001. Dieta, uso de ambiente y abundancia relativa del zorro gris pampeano, Pseudalopex gymnocercus, en la reserva de uso múltiple Bahía San Blas e Isla Gama, Provincia de Buenos Aires. B.Sc. Thesis, UNMdP.

Ojeda, R. A. and Mares, M. A. 1982. Conservation of South American mammals: Argentina as a paradigm. In: M. A. Mares and H. H. Genoways (eds), Mammalian biology in South America, pp. 505-521. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Redford, K.H. and Eisenberg, J.F. 1992. Mammals of the Neotropics, The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Sillero-Zubiri, C., Hoffmann, M. and Macdonald, D.W. (eds). 2004. Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Wozencraft, W.C. 2005. Order Carnivora. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third Edition, pp. 532-628. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Jiménez, J.E., Lucherini, M. & Novaro, A.J. 2008. Pseudalopex gymnocercus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T6928A12816086. . Downloaded on 29 June 2016.
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