The Peruvian Fox (Lycalopex sechurae), also called the Sechuran Fox or Sechuran Zorro, is a small canid found in South America. It lives in the Sechura desert in southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru. A male fox is called a ‘reynard’, the female is called a ‘vixen’ and the baby is called a ‘kit’. A group of foxes is called a skulk or a leash. Sechuran Foxes are named after the Sechura Desert in Peru.
Peruvian Fox Description
The Peruvian Fox measures around 60 centimetres in length, has a tail length of 25 centimetres and weighs 4 – 5 kilograms. Their fur is grey with a reddish tinge, their underparts pale and their long, bushy tails are black tipped. They have long ears and small teeth that are adapted to feed on dry plants and insects and fox-like canine teeth.
Peruvian Foxes have sharp, curved claws that help them to dig for food and to make their dens. They also have insulating fur which keeps them warm on cold desert nights.
Foxes long bushy tails are also called ‘sweeps’ as they help the fox change direction quickly when running. Their tails also keep their nose and feet warm when curled up asleep.
Peruvian Fox Habitat
The Peruvian Fox is a desert dwelling animal and lives in dens dug into the ground. Other habitats include forests, scrub, plains, grasslands and Arctic snow.
Peruvian Fox Diet
The Peruvian Fox is a carnivore and primarily feeds on small rodents, amphibians, lizards, birds, beetles, berries, grass, nuts, seed pods and carrion (animal carcass).
Peruvian Fox Behaviour
Peruvian Foxes are a nocturnal creatures and they rest in their dens during the day. Like all foxes, they are intelligent animals and can confuse their predators by doubling back on the tracks they make with their paws.
Peruvian Fox Reproduction
Other than the fact that the young are born in October, nothing is known about their social life or breeding habits. Their gestation period, size of litter, age at sexual maturity and longevity are unknown.
Peruvian Fox Conservation Status
Currently, the population is estimated to number fewer than 15,000 mature individuals and is thought likely to experience a continuing decline nearing 10% over the coming decade largely as a result of ongoing habitat loss and degradation combined with persecution. The Peruvian Fox is therefore listed as ‘Near Threatened’.