Home range and spatial organization by the Hoary Fox Lycalopex vetulus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae): response to social disruption of two neighboring pairs

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Julio C. Dalponte
Herson S. Lima
Stuart Klorfine
Nelton C. da Luz


The Hoary Fox Lycalopex vetulus, is a small omnivore-insectivore canid inhabiting open environments/areas of the Brazilian savannah, whose spatial organization and territoriality is still unknown.  Space use and social organization of two breeding pairs with adjacent home ranges were determined through radio tracking from October 2002 to April 2003 in a mosaic of cultivated pastures and Cerrado vegetation in eastern Mato Grosso, Brazil.  Home ranges were 140–299 ha in size, with individual areas of the male and female in each breeding pair overlapping extensively.  After the death of both individuals of one pair, the neighboring pair progressively occupied the vacant space, expanding markedly its range into about half the area originally occupied by the previous pair.  Factors driving a pair of Hoary Foxes to expand their territory into a vacant area after death of the neighboring pair were not clearly determined.  Absence of territorial defence, however, could have contributed to the range shift observed.  This is the first time that the response of neighboring foxes to social disruption of an adjacent pair has been documented for Hoary Foxes.


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Author Biographies

Julio C. Dalponte, Instituto para a Conservação dos Carnívoros Neotropicais (PRÓ-CARNÍVOROS), Avenida Horácio Neto, 1030, Parque Edmundo Zanoni, 12945-010, Atibaia, São Paulo, Brasil

Julio C. Dalponte: Born in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo state, Brazil, he received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the Federal University of Mato Grosso in 1989 and a PhD in Animal Biology from the University of Brasília in 2003. He is currently an associate professor and teaches Zoology at the Federal University of Mato Grosso, Campus of Sinop, Mato Grosso State.

Herson S. Lima, Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso (UNEMAT), Campus de Nova Xavantina, Av. Expedição Roncador Xingu, Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso 78690-000, Brasil

Herson S. Lima: Born in 1963 in Três Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil, he received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the State University of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso, Brazil, in 2002. He did a specialization course in savanna ecology from this same institution, presenting a course conclusion monograph on the space use of the Hoary Fox in the Cerrado biome. He currently works on his cattle ranch and is a consultant in field biology.

Stuart Klorfine, SQN 215, Bloco B, 505, 70874-020, Brasília DF, Brasil

Stuart Klorfine: Born in 1970 in Seattle, WA, US, he holds a degree in Ecology and Ethology from Antioch University in 1998. Stuart has developed studies on medium and large mammals in agroecosystems and protected areas of Mato Grosso. He currently works as a biology consultant, with emphasis on conservation and monitoring of wild mammals.

Nelton C. da Luz, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE)- Centro Regional da Amazônia, Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia do Guamá, Avenida Perimetral, 2651, 66077-830, Belém, Pará, Brasil

Nelton C. da Luz: Born in Canarana, Brazil, in 1983. He received the B.S. degree in biology from the State University of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso, Brazil, in 2008 and the M.S. degree in management of natural resources and local development in the Amazon from the Federal University of Para, Belem, Brazil, in 2011. He is currently with the Regional Center of the Amazon, National Institute for Space Research–INPE-CRA, Belem, Brazil.



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