South American Gray Fox, Lycalopex griseus

The South American gray fox (Lycalopex griseus), also known as the chilla, Patagonian fox, or the grey zorro, is a species of “false fox” or zorro that is native to South America. Its range includes Chile and Argentina, extending in a line across the Andes Mountain Range. In its Argentinian range, it prefers a habitat within the semiarid western areas from the Andean spurs to the Atlantic coast, where its range widens. In the 1920’s, this species was introduced on to the Falkland Islands, and can be found on smaller islands including Beaver and Weddell Islands. The South American gray fox prefers many habitats including warm and cold semiarid regions.

The South American gray fox is small, reaching an average body length between seventeen and twenty-seven inches and a weight between five and nine pounds. The breeding season for this species occurs in the month of March. After a pregnancy period of about two months, a litter between two and four kits is born. It has a varied diet that includes rabbits, rodents, and birds. The South American gray fox appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Zorro en las Torres del Paine. Credit: claudio ruiz /Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)