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Grey zorro

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Range and Habitat

The grey zorro occurs in the plains, pampas, deserts, and low mountains of southern South America. It is present in Chile, Argentina, and small populations in Peru, being the most numerous in southern Chile.

Physical Appearance

The grey zorro is one of the smaller members of the South American foxes. It is not the same species as the grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), which lives much farther north. Their fur is greyish, with rusty markings around its head and ears. Its ears are very large.

Diet

The grey zorro eats mostly rodents. In Chile, rodents comprise 87-98% of the total diet of the grey zorro. In the autumn, berries comprise a significant amount of their diet, around a third. Rabbits and birds comprise less than 3% of their diet.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

They breed in late fall, around October. After a gestation period of 2 months, 2-4 kits are born in a den. Not much else is recorded about their lifestyle.

Threats

The grey zorro has been heavily trapped for its fur. More than one million grey zorros were killed in the 1980's for their pelt. Most of the pelts come from Argentina; despite this, their numbers have remained relatively constant. Heavy snow kills off many foxes, and they die of starvation. But their numbers bounce right back. They have an intense competition with the culpeo, which may affect their numbers in areas where their ranges overlap.

Subspecies

P. g. griseus

P. g. domeykoanus

P. g. fulvipes

P. g. gracilis

P. g. maullinicus

References

Lioncrusher's Domain -- Grey Zorro (Pseudalopex griseus) fact and pictures

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