Sly, small but an aura of mystery revolves around these creatures. The Sechuran fox (Lycalopex sechurae) is a canid species found exclusively in the South American regions. Their name comes from deserts in northwestern Peru, the Sechura Desert. They are close relatives of the Zorros or false foxes. Being part of the canid clan, these animals are more linked to wolves and dogs, than they are to actual foxes!
These animals are known to be pretty smart and cunning, and surprisingly, and magical too! They can easily fool their predators by walking back on the same tracks they made with their paws.
These foxes are also known by various other names like the Peruvian desert fox, the Sechura desert Fox, or the Sechuran zorro!
What class of animal does a Sechuran fox belong to?
The Lycalopex Sechurae, also called the Peruvian desert fox, comes under the class of Mammals.
How many Sechuran foxes are there in the world?
Being a species whose population is nearly threatened, there are less than 15,000 individuals currently surviving in the wild.
Where does a Sechuran fox live?
This fox is known to live in deserts, forests, and arid grasslands.
What is a Sechuran fox's habitat?
The Sechuran fox was first found in the Sechura desert. They are known to occupy the arid lands of Peru and Ecuador, where they live in the beaches, dry forests, and arid grass plains as well as deserts. The Sechuran fox habitat includes environments with altitudes of 0.6-1.24 miles (1000-2000 m) high.
Who do Sechuran foxes live with?
Usually, the Sechuran Fox follows a solitary lifestyle. But while traveling long distances, they are seen in pairs.
How long does a Sechuran fox live?
The Sechuran Fox lifespan is between 9-12 years.
How do they reproduce?
There is little to no information regarding the Sechuran Fox reproduction. However, it is known that the little pups of this species are born in October and November.
Being a species of canid, we can summarize the reproductive behavior in the Sechuran fox as well.
Canids believe in monogamous relationships. Small canids usually have about one to two month long pregnancies. The litter can have anywhere between one to 16 pups born. The young pups are usually born blind, and much dependent on their parents for everything. The pups are safely kept in dens dug into the ground, which provides warmth as well as protection from other predators. Once the little ones are able to eat solid food, the parents and others from the pack bring food for them. Young canids may take around one year to reach maturity and be able to survive alone in the wild.
What is their conservation status?
The conservation status of the Sechuran Zorro is stated as Near Threatened.
Sechuran Fox Fun Facts
What do Sechuran foxes look like?
The Sechuran Zorro comes among the smaller canids and thus has a smaller body length. Their fur is gray in color and spread across the body. This gray fades into cream or white hues on the underparts. The back of their ears, legs, and around the eyes have chestnut red markings. A gray band is present across their chests, and their muzzles are of dark gray color. The tail of these fox like animals has black tips. These tails are bushy and help them effectively map their path while running. Their small teeth have sharp canines like that of foxes. They also have long ears. These animals also have small, curved but sharp claws which help them dig into the ground and make dens.
How cute are they?
We do find these South American foxes really cute!
How do they communicate?
We unfortunately are not aware of how these animals communicate in the wild. In captivity, these foxes make chattering noises of high pitches, usually as a call for attention. In the presence of any threat or predators, they would make dog like grunts and growls. When these foxes would be hungry, they would make a loud bisyllabic call and a whine.
How big is a Sechuran fox?
These animals have a body length (excluding the tail) in the range of 20-32 in (50-81 cm), and their tails being 11-13 in (28-33 cm). The head to tail length of this species is equal to almost three times the length of a domestic cat.
How fast can a Sechuran fox move?
We do not know the exact speed of the Sechuran fox, but other canids of their sizes can move as fast as 31 mph (50 kph).
How much does a Sechuran fox weigh?
The weight of the individuals of this species vary in the range of 5.7-9.5 lb (2.6-4.3 kg).
What are the male and female names of the species?
The male and female foxes of the Sechura desert don't have any specific names. However, a female fox is called a vixen, whereas a male fox is known as a reynard.
What would you call a baby Sechuran fox?
The Sechuran fox baby does not have any exclusive name. But a baby canid is called a pup, and a baby fox is known as a kit.
What do they eat?
This fox-like species has been often termed as an opportunistic feeder. The Sechuran fox diet mainly varies on their habitat and the season. These animals eat seed pods, fruits, small dry plants, and vegetation. However, they also prefer eating bird eggs, rodents, insects, and other small animals. They can survive for long periods without drinking water and instead lives by subsisting on the water present in the other parts of their diet. This concentration of water in its food is sufficient to keep them hydrated. Their diet also includes livestock and mainly chickens.
Are they poisonous?
No, these canids are not poisonous.
Would they make a good pet?
Taming the Peruvian desert fox can be a little difficult, and hence we would not recommend them as good pets.
Did you know...
Genetical analysis of the Sechuran fox species, which are found in Ecuador and Peru, has shown it to be closely related to Chile's Darwin’s fox.
Canids are really good parents, giving proper paternal care to their little ones and help them take their place in the social groups too.
The Sechuran Fox chromosome number is 74.
The majority of this animal's population is born in October.
These animals are most active in the nighttime and spend most of the bright hours sleeping in their dens.
Do foxes attack humans?
These animals are said to be shy and stay away from humans. Thus, they choose a habitat that is away from human interaction. They do not like the company of humans, but under situations of threat, they would form packs like the other canids and be ready for an attack.
How dangerous are they?
The Sechuran Zorros are known to attack the livestock of people, especially attacking lambs, young calves, guinea pigs, and chickens. Hence, these animals are often hunted by humans. Their body parts have been said to be an integral part of magical rituals, medicines, and even handicrafts.
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