Culpeo

The culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus), sometimes known as the zorro culpeo or Andean fox, is a South American fox species. It is the second-largest native canid on the continent, after the maned wolf. In appearance, it bears many similarities to the widely recognized red fox. It has grey and reddish fur, a white chin, reddish legs and a stripe on its back that may be barely visible.

The culpeo's diet consists largely of rodents, rabbits, birds and lizards, and to a lesser extent, plant material and carrion. The culpeo does attack sheep on occasion and is therefore often hunted or poisoned.[2] In some regions it has become rare, but overall the species is not threatened with extinction.

The culpeo was domesticated to form the Fuegian dog, but this animal became extinct some time between 1880 and 1919.

Culpeo
Culpeo MC
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Lycalopex
Species:
L. culpaeus
Binomial name
Lycalopex culpaeus
(Molina, 1782)
Culpeo area
Culpeo range

Description

Culpeoskull
Culpeo skull

The culpeo is a canid intermediate in size between a red fox and a coyote. The average weight of the male is 11.4 kg (25 lb), while the typically smaller females average 8.4 kg (19 lb). Overall, a weight range of 5 to 13.5 kg (11 to 30 lb) has been reported. Total length can range from 95 to 132 cm (37 to 52 in), including a tail of 32 to 44 cm (13 to 17 in) in length.[3] The pelt has a grizzled appearance. The neck and shoulders are often tawny to rufous in color, while the upper back is dark. The bushy tail has a black tip.[4]

Range

Lycalopex culpaeus 00
A culpeo in the Antofagasta Region

Its distribution extends from Ecuador and Peru to the southern regions of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Some populations live in southern regions of Colombia. It is most common on the western slopes of the Andes, where it inhabits open country and deciduous forests. Populations of the culpeo are also found in some of the westernmost of the Falkland Islands, where they were introduced by humans.

Habitat

The culpeo lives in a wide variety of habitats of western South America. They are found in broadleaf Nothofagus temperate rainforest, sclerophyllous matorral, deserts and high plateaus, like the Altiplano, up to the tree line (4,800 metres (15,700 ft)).[1]

Diet

The culpeo fox is an opportunistic predator that will take any variety of prey. This fox mainly feeds on rodents and lagomorphs (especially the introduced European rabbit and European hare); however, it occasionally feeds on domestic livestock and young guanacos.[5] Culpeos are considered beneficial because they are significant predators of the rabbits introduced in 1915; such introduced rabbit populations are believed to have allowed culpeos to spread from the Andean foothills across the Patagonian plain.[6] They sometimes take young lambs up to a week old. In limited studies, the larger culpeo appears to dominate potential competitors, including South American gray foxes, Geoffroy's cats, pampas cats, grisons and various raptorial birds.[4] Its range also overlaps that of the much larger puma, but the size difference ensures that the two species have limited competition.

Reproduction

The typical mating period is between August and October. After a gestation period of 55–60 days, the female gives birth usually to between two and five pups.

Classification

Subspecies

Lycalopex culpaeus Bolivia

Lycalopex culpaeus andinus (Thomas, 1914)

Lycalopex culpaeus culpaeus in the Buin Zoo, Chile.

Lycalopex culpaeus culpaeus (Molina, 1782)

Lycalopex culpaeus lycoides in Ushuaia, Argentina.

Lycalopex culpaeus lycoides (Philippi, 1896)

Fox -Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile-8

Lycalopex culpaeus magellanicus (Gray, 1837)

Pes horský

Lycalopex culpaeus reissii (Hilzheimer, 1906)

Lycalopex culpaeus Parque Nacional Los Glaciares

Lycalopex culpaeus smithersi (Thomas, 1914)

Taxonomy

The taxonomy of the culpeo has been the topic of debate due to their high phenetic variability and the scarcity of research, among other things. Over the past three decades, they have been placed variably in the genera Dusicyon (Clutton-Brock, et al., 1976; Wozencraft, 1989), Canis (Langguth, 1975; Van Gelder, 1978), Pseudalopex (Berta, 1987; Wozencraft, 1993; Tedford et al., 1995) and Lycalopex (Zunino, 1995; Wozencraft, 2005).[7]

This canid, like other South American foxes, is still sometimes classified as a member of the genus Pseudalopex.[1] As Pseudalopex and Lycalopex have largely come to describe the same genus, either classification is acceptable, although the modern practice is to give Lycalopex prominence.[8]

Short-eared dog

Crab-eating fox

Sechuran fox

Culpeo[9](Fig. 10)

Pampas fox

South American gray fox

Darwin's fox

Hoary fox

Maned wolf

Bush dog

References

  1. ^ a b c Jiménez, J. E.; Lucherini, M. & Novaro, A. J. (2008). "Pseudalopex culpaeus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  2. ^ Macdonald, David Whyte; Claudio Sillero-Zubiri (2004). The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-851555-5.
  3. ^ Burnie D and Wilson DE (Eds.) (2005), Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult, ISBN 0789477645
  4. ^ a b Andrés J. Novaro (24 October 1997). "Pseudalopex culpaeus" (PDF). Mammalian Species. American Society of Mammalogists (558): 1–8. doi:10.2307/3504483. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-14 – via www.science.smith.edu.
  5. ^ Andres J. Novaro, Claudio A. Moraga, Cristobal Bricen, Martin C. Funes, Andrea Marino (2009) First records of culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus) attacks and cooperative defense by guanacos (Lama guanicoe). Mammalia, Volume 73
  6. ^ Alderton, David. Foxes, Wolves, and Wild Dogs of the World. London: Blandford, 1998. p175-6.
  7. ^ Jiménez, J.E.; Novaro, A.J. (2004). "Chapter 3.4: Culpeo (Pseudalopex culpaeus)" (PDF). In Sillero-Zubiri, C.; Hoffmann, M.; Macdonald, D.W. Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals, and Dogs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2012-05-08. Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals, and Dogs at the Wayback Machine (archived 2011-10-06)
  8. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 579–581. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  9. ^ Lindblad-Toh; Wade, CM; Mikkelsen, TS; Karlsson, EK; Jaffe, DB; Kamal, M; Clamp, M; Chang, JL; Kulbokas Ej, 3rd (2005). "Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog" (PDF). Nature. 438 (7069): 803–819. doi:10.1038/nature04338. PMID 16341006.
Alberto de Agostini National Park

Alberto de Agostini National Park (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈβeɾto ðe aɣosˈtini]) is a protected area that was created on January 22, 1965, on land that was formerly part of the "Hollanda" forest reserve and "Hernando de Magallanes National Park". It covers 1,460,000 hectares (3,607,739 acres) and includes the Cordillera Darwin mountain range, which is the final land-based stretch of the Andes before it becomes a chain of mountains appearing as small islands that sink into the Pacific Ocean and the Beagle Channel.

The park, along with Cabo de Hornos National Park, was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. As part of the Magallanes Sub-Polar (or Sub-Antarctic) Evergreen Rainforest, UNESCO highlights the area’s "mosaic of contrasting ecosystems and unique and singular characteristics on a world level."Several tidewater glaciers and steep fjords can be found in the park. It also comprises the Gordon, Cook and Londonderry islands, as well as part of Hoste Island (excluding the Hardy Peninsula and other portions).

Canidae

The biological family Canidae

(from Latin, canis, “dog”) is a lineage of carnivorans that includes domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, dingoes, and many other extant and extinct dog-like mammals. A member of this family is called a canid (, ).The cat-like feliforms and dog-like caniforms emerged within the Carnivoramorpha 43 million years before present. The caniforms included the fox-like genus Leptocyon whose various species existed from 34 million years ago (Mya) before branching 11.9 Mya into Vulpini (foxes) and Canini (canines).Canids are found on all continents except Antarctica, having arrived independently or accompanied human beings over extended periods of time. Canids vary in size from the 2-m-long (6 ft 7 in) gray wolf to the 24-cm-long (9.4 in) fennec fox. The body forms of canids are similar, typically having long muzzles, upright ears, teeth adapted for cracking bones and slicing flesh, long legs, and bushy tails. They are mostly social animals, living together in family units or small groups and behaving co-operatively. Typically, only the dominant pair in a group breeds, and a litter of young is reared annually in an underground den. Canids communicate by scent signals and vocalizations. They are very intelligent. One canid, the domestic dog, long ago entered into a partnership with humans and today remains one of the most widely kept domestic animals.

Copa América mascot

Each Copa América since 1987 has its own mascot. Gardelito, the mascot for the 1987 competition, was the first Copa América mascot. The mascot designs show some representing a characteristic feature (costume, flora, fauna, etc.) of the host country.

The Copa América mascot is frequently one or more anthropomorphic characters targeted at children with cartoon shows and other merchandise released to coincide with the competition.

Dusicyon

Dusicyon is an extinct genus of South American canids. The type species is Dusicyon australis, the Falkland Islands wolf. In 1914, Oldfield Thomas established this genus, in which he included the culpeo and other South American foxes. These other canids were removed to Lycalopex by Langguth in 1975. Dusicyon avus, widely distributed in the late Pleistocene from Uruguay through Buenos Aires Province to southernmost Chile, is the closest known relative of the Falkland Islands wolf; the two lineages split only about 16,000 years ago. It died out in the late Holocene, about 2980 years ago on the island of Tierra del Fuego and almost 1700 years in the continent.There is still much debate about the classification of "Dusicyon" cultridens. It has been suggested that this species be placed in the genera Canis or Lycalopex. This debate makes D. cultridens poorly researched.

Falkland Islands wolf

The Falkland Islands wolf (Dusicyon australis), also known as the warrah ( WAH-rə or WAH-rah) and occasionally as the Falkland Islands dog, Falkland Islands fox, or Antarctic wolf, was the only native land mammal of the Falkland Islands. This endemic canid became extinct in 1876, the first known canid to have become extinct in historical times. It was the only modern species in the genus Dusicyon.

Traditionally it had been supposed that the most closely related genus was Lycalopex, including the culpeo, which has been introduced to the Falkland Islands in modern times. However, in 2009, a cladistic analysis of DNA identified the Falkland Island wolf's closest living relative as the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)—an unusually long-legged, fox-like South American canid, from which it separated about 6.7 million years ago.The Falkland Islands wolf existed on both West and East Falkland, but Charles Darwin was uncertain if they were differentiated varieties. Its fur had a tawny colour and the tip of the tail was white. Its diet is unknown, but, due to the absence of native rodents on the Falklands, probably consisted of ground-nesting birds such as geese and penguins, seal pups, and insects, as well as seashore scavenging. It has sometimes been said that it may have lived in burrows.

Fox

Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Foxes have a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed, slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail (or brush).

Twelve species belong to the monophyletic "true foxes" group of genus Vulpes. Approximately another 25 current or extinct species are always or sometimes called foxes; these foxes are either part of the paraphyletic group of the South American foxes, or of the outlying group, which consists of bat-eared fox, gray fox, and island fox. Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with about 47 recognized subspecies. The global distribution of foxes, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their prominence in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world. The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe, especially in the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World.

Fuegian dog

The Fuegian dog (Spanish: perro yagán, perro fueguino), also known as the Yaghan dog, is an extinct domesticated fox. It was a domesticated form of the culpeo, (Lycalopex culpaeus), unlike other domesticated canids – dogs, domesticated from the gray wolf (Canis lupus), and the domesticated red fox, from the red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

There are very few remaining specimens of the Fuegian dog. These include one in the Museo Salesiano Maggiorino Borgatello in Chile, and another in the Fagnano Regional Museum in Tierra del Fuego.

Huerquehue National Park

Huerquehue National Park (Spanish pronunciation: [weɾˈkewe]) is located in the foothills of the Andes, in the Valdivian temperate rainforest of the La Araucanía region in southern Chile. It lies 145 km southeast of Temuco and 33 km east of Pucón, between the Villarrica National Reserve to the west and the Hualalafquén National Reserve to the east.

The park encompasses 125 square kilometres (12,500 Ha) of mountainous terrain east of Caburgua Lake, and has an elevation range of 720 to 2,000 m asl.The national park was created on June 9, 1967 in order to protect the area. However, its origins date back to 1912 and the creation of "Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna Park", also known as "Colico", which encompassed 265,000 Ha. Today, that land is divided into various different parks and reserves.

Huerquehue is a Mapudungun word (the language of the Mapuche people) that means "the messenger’s place". One of the most noteworthy features of Huerquehue National Park are its ancient Araucaria (Araucaria araucana) forests, the tree commonly known as "monkey puzzle". These are the backdrop for the clear lakes and lagoons that dot the park, including Tinquilco Lake, which lies in the lower portion of this protected area.

Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk

Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk, also known as the Patagonian hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus humboldtii) is a type of hog-nosed skunk indigenous to the open grassy areas in the Patagonian regions of Argentina and Chile. It belongs to the order Carnivora and the family Mephitidae.

Laguna del Laja National Park

Laguna del Laja National Park (Spanish pronunciation: [laˈɣuna ðel ˈlaxa]) is a national park of Chile located in the Andes, between 37°22’ and 37°28’ south latitude and 71°16’ and 71°26’ west longitude.

Lutrogale

Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Maned wolf

The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest canid of South America. Its markings resemble those of foxes, but it is not a fox, nor is it a wolf. It is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon (meaning "golden dog").

This mammal is found in open and semiopen habitats, especially grasslands with scattered bushes and trees, in south, central-west, and southeastern Brazil, Paraguay, northern Argentina, Bolivia east and north of the Andes, and far southeastern Peru (Pampas del Heath only). It is very rare in Uruguay, possibly being displaced completely through loss of habitat. IUCN lists it as near threatened, while it is considered a vulnerable species by the Brazilian government (IBAMA).

It is known locally as aguará guazú (meaning "large fox" in the Guarani language), or kalak in the Toba Qom language, lobo de crin, lobo de los esteros, or lobo colorado, and lobo-guará in Brazil. It also is called borochi in Bolivia.

Pampas fox

The pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus), also known as grey pampean fox, aguará chaí, aguarachay, Azara's fox, or Azara's zorro, is a medium-sized zorro, or "false" fox, native to the South American pampas. The alternative common names are references to Spanish naturalist Félix de Azara.

Papallacta

Papallacta is a small village in Napo Province, Ecuador located at an altitude of 3,300 m in the Andes just off the Eastern Cordilleras on the road from Quito which leads into the Amazon jungle. The scenic drive from Quito to Papallacta passes through several towns and small villages before ascending to a peak of over 4,000 m, from where mountains and glaciers are visible. Descending from the peak to Papallacta, the ecosystems transform from alpine to tropical jungle.

Several hot springs and spas are located in Papallacta. Many of the local restaurants are known for their steamed trout. For lodging, there are several hotels and a resort.

Lake Papallacta and its surrounding watershed previously provided much of the drinking water for Quito, but because of frequent landslides in the region and the fact that the water pipeline and oil pipeline from the Amazon jungle pass in close proximity, a 2003 oil spill contaminated the lake, affecting recreational uses as well as clean water.The mammals of Papallacta have been studied in detail. The following species have been recorded in the vicinity of the village:

Order Paucituberculata (shrew opossums)

Caenolestes fuliginosus

Order Didelphimorphia (opossums)

Didelphis pernigra

Order Eulipotyphla (insectivores)

Cryptotis cf. montivagus

Order Carnivora (carnivorans)

Culpeo (Pseudalopex culpaeus)

Pampas cat (Leopardus pajeros)

Conepatus cf. semistriatus

Long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata)

Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus)

Order Cetartiodactyla (even-toed ungulates and whales)

Hippocamelus antisensis

Odocoileus peruvianus

Northern pudu (Pudu mephistophiles)

Order Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates)

Mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque)

Order Rodentia (rodents)

Akodon latebricola

Akodon mollis

Anotomys leander

Chilomys instans

Microryzomys altissimus

Microryzomys minutus

Neusticomys monticolus

Phyllotis haggardi

Reithrodontomys mexicanus

Thomasomys aureus

Thomasomys baeops

Thomasomys cinnameus

Thomasomys erro

Thomasomys paramorum

Thomasomys rhoadsi

Thomasomys silvestris

Thomasomys ucucha

Coendou quichua

Mountain paca (Cuniculus taczanowskii)

Order Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas)

Tapeti (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)

Patagonian weasel

The Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus) is a small mustelid that is the only member of the genus Lyncodon. Its geographic range is the Pampas of western Argentina and sections of Chile. An early mention of the animal is in the Journal of Syms Covington, who sailed with Charles Darwin on his epic voyage aboard HMS Beagle.

Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world's largest salt flat, at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosí in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes and is at an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level.The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average elevation variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50% to 70% of the world's known lithium reserves. The large area, clear skies, and exceptional flatness of the surface make the Salar an ideal object for calibrating the altimeters of Earth observation satellites. Following rain, a thin layer of dead calm water transforms the flat into the world's largest mirror, 129 kilometres (80 miles) across.The Salar serves as the major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano and is a major breeding ground for several species of flamingos. Salar de Uyuni is also a climatological transitional zone since the towering tropical cumulus congestus and cumulonimbus incus clouds that form in the eastern part of the salt flat during the summer cannot permeate beyond its drier western edges, near the Chilean border and the Atacama Desert.

San Guillermo National Park

San Guillermo National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional San Guillermo) is a national park in Argentina, in the Iglesia Department of San Juan Province. It was established in 1998 and is part of the San Guillermo Biosphere Reserve. Elevations in the biosphere range from 2,100 metres (6,900 ft) to 6,380 metres (20,930 ft). Vegetation in the National Park and biosphere consists of barren desert, grasslands, and a few wetlands, all located in the high, arid Andes. The animals include vicuña, guanaco, culpeo fox, Andean mountain cat, cougar, and Andean condor.

South American fox

The South American foxes (Lycalopex), commonly called raposa in Portuguese, or zorro in Spanish, are a genus of the family Canidae from South America. Despite their name, they are not true foxes, but are a unique canid genus related to wolves and jackals, which some somewhat resemble foxes due to convergent evolution. The South American gray fox, Lycalopex griseus, is the most common species, and is known for its large ears and a highly marketable, russet-fringed pelt.

The oldest known fossils belonging to the genus were discovered in Chile, and date from 2.0 to 2.5 million years ago, in the mid- to late Pliocene.

South American gray fox

The South American gray fox (Lycalopex griseus), also known as the Patagonian fox, the chilla or the gray zorro, is a species of Lycalopex, the "false" foxes. It is endemic to the southern part of South America.

Extant Carnivora species

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