Argentine Gray Fox - Origin, Description and Characteristics

Argentine gray fox: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Argentine Gray Fox (Lycalopex griseus or Pseudalopex...

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The Argentine Gray Fox (Lycalopex griseus or Pseudalopex griseus) is a type of fox native to South America whose population is mainly concentrated in areas near the Andes Mountains. These canines stand out for their large size compared to other species of foxes as well as for their greyish coat.

If you want to learn more about this characteristic Patagonian animal, continue reading this AnimalPlanet page to discover the origins, habitat, mode of reproduction and conservation status of the fox Argentinian grey.


  • America
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Uruguay

Origin of the Argentine Gray Fox

The Argentine gray fox of the southern region of South America, distributed on both sides of the Andes, between Argentina and Chile, to the central region of the Southern Cone of South America, between Bolivia and Uruguay. It is also possible to see some specimens in Peru. In Argentina, this species is widely distributed, and it is particularly concentrated in the semi-arid areas of the center of the country (Patagonic regions). It is also visible in southern Patagonia, extending to the province of Tierra del Fuego.

" On the Chilean side of the Andes, they mainly live in rural areas in the center and south of the country, from the Pacific coast to the Cordillera.Argentine gray foxes are so representative and common in this area that their Chilean nickname Chillas gave the name to the town of Chillán. In Chile, the Argentine gray foxes have adapted better and they live near urban areas, hunting remains a great threat to their survival."

" The Argentine gray fox was first described in 1857 during the research of English naturalist, zoologist and botanist Jonh Edward Gray. Because these canids resemble true Old World foxes, especially the red fox, Gray originally named them Vulpes griseus. A few years later, the Argentine gray fox was moved to the genus Lycalopex, a genus to which other species of South American foxes belong, such as Darwin&39;s fox, Magellanic fox and Aszara&39;s fox. It is also possible to see the synonymous name of Pseudalopex griseus to refer to this species."

Description of the Argentine Gray Fox

Although considered a small canine, the Argentine gray fox is remarkably large compared to other foxes. Its body usually measures between 70 and 100 cm in total length in adulthood, its tail can reach 30 cm in length. Their average body weight is between 2.5 and 4.5 kg, females are slightly smaller and slimmer than males.

His name, as one might assume, refers to the color of his coat, which is usually grayish on the back and loins. But we can observe yellowish areas on the head and legs, black spots on the chin and the tip of the tail, as well as black bands on the thighs and the back of the tail. Also, their belly is usually whitish in color and reddish highlights may appear near their ears.

In addition to the exceptional physical characteristics of the Argentine gray fox, we must mention its pointed muzzle, its large triangular ears with slightly rounded ends and its long tail which contributes to its balance and which helps it to propel itself when he wants to climb trees in his natural habitat.

Argentina Gray Fox Behavior

There is no doubt that the most remarkable and curious behavioral characteristic of the Argentine gray fox is its incredible ability to climb trees and other surfaces. In fact, it is the only species of fox in which this behavior has been observed, which clearly helps it to escape possible predators while having a privileged view of its own habitat. Another characteristic hunting habit of the Argentine gray fox is that it uses its swimming abilities to its advantage in order to drown its prey.

Speaking of hunting, the Argentine gray fox is an omnivorous animal that follows a very varied diet. In addition to hunting their own prey, which are mostly small and medium-sized mammals and birds, these canines can also take advantage of carrion left by other predators, and they consume a lot of fruit to supplement their diet.

If found in a season or area where food is scarce, the Argentine gray fox may also behave as an opportunistic carnivore, capturing the eggs of other animals while also hunting some reptiles and arthropods. And when they adapt to life near towns and villages, they can prey on poultry as well as feed on human food waste.

Reproduction of the Argentine gray fox

The mating season for Argentine gray foxes is usually between August and October and begins at the end of winter in the southern hemisphere. But the mating period can vary greatly depending on the habitat in which the individuals live. These canids are monogamous and loyal to their mates until one of them dies. They then go through a period of mourning before finding a new partner with whom they will reproduce.

Like all canids, Argentine gray foxes are viviparous animals, that is to say that the fertilization and development of the young reproduce in the womb of the mother. Females have a gestation period of 52 to 60 days, after which they usually give birth to litters of 4 to 7 young, which will be nursed until they are between 4 and 5 months old. A few days before giving birth, the female will build a kind of cave or burrow with the help of the male, in which she can be protected to give birth and take care of her young.

The male will take part in the lactation process and raising the cubs, he will bring food into the burrow to keep the female he althy and he althy to feed the cubs, and he will also be the fierce burrow keeper. The pups begin to emerge from the den and explore the outside environment shortly after their first month of life.But they will stay with their mother until they are around 6 or 7 months old, and they won't reach sexual maturity until their first year of life.

Conservation status of the Argentine gray fox

" Although this species is considered a species of least concern according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the population of Argentine gray foxes is decreasing alarmingly in the Patagonian areas of Argentina and Chile ."

" Illegal hunting remains one of the main threats to the survival of the Argentine gray fox as well as human intervention in ecosystems. With the advancement of Man on his environment and the adaptation of the Argentine gray fox to goshawks in urban areas, hunting has intensified because small producers try to protect their poultry and livestock. In addition, Argentine gray foxes have been hunted for several years for the trade of their skin, which is highly prized for making jackets.Sport hunting is another unnecessary practice that puts the conservation of this species at risk."

Fortunately, a good part of the Argentine gray fox population in Chile and mainly in Argentina are found in national parks and other protected areas where hunting is prohibited.

Argentina Gray Fox photos

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