Diet, dietary selectivity and density of South American grey fox, Lycalopex griseus, in Central Chile

The South American grey fox Lycalopex griseus is a canid widely distributed in southern South America; however, some aspects of its biology are still poorly known. We studied the diet and density of L. griseus in the Lago Penuelas Biosphere Reserve, in Central Chile. The trophic niche breadth was B = 6.16 (B-sta = 0.47) and prey diversity was H = 2.46 (H-max' = 3.17, J' = 0.78). The highest proportions of prey consumed in the diet were Oryctolagus cuniculus (52.21%) and other mammals (32.78%). We compared these results with a latitudinal gradient of diet results for this species in Chile. L. griseus eats mostly mammals (>90% of total prey), consuming the rodent Phyllotis darwini and reptiles in the northern zone; Oryctolagus cuniculus, Octodon degus and Abrocoma bennetti in the central zone; Abrothrix spp. and lagomorphs in the southern zone; and Lepus capensis and Ovis aries in the austral zone. The estimated density of L. griseus in Lago Penuelas NR was 1.3 foxes/km(2).

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