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Culpeo: Wikis


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Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Lycalopex
Species: L. culpaeus
Binomial name
Lycalopex culpaeus
(Molina, 1782)

The Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus), sometimes known as the Culpeo zorro or Andean Fox (Wolf), is a South American species of wild dog. It is the second largest native canid on the continent after the Maned Wolf. In its appearance it bears many similarities to the widely recognized red fox. It has grey and reddish fur, a white chin, reddish legs, and a stripe on its back that may be barely visible.

Culpeo skull

The Culpeo's diet consists largely of rodents, rabbits, birds and lizards, and to a lesser extent, plant material and carrion. The Culpeo does attack sheep on occasion, and is therefore often hunted or poisoned.[2] In some regions it has become rare, but overall the species is not threatened with extinction.



Its distribution extends from Ecuador and Peru to the southern regions of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Some populations live in southern regions of Colombia. It is most common on the western slopes of the Andes, where it inhabits open country and deciduous forests. Populations of the Culpeo are also found in some of the westernmost of the Falkland Islands, where they were introduced by humans. The extinct domestic perro yagán was probably a close relative.


The Culpeo Fox mainly feed on rodents, lagomorphs and occasionaly feed on domestic livestock, and young guanacos[3]. They sometimes take young lambs a week old and younger.


The culpeo lives in some areas in South America. They usually live in the areas where there are deserts, bushlands, upland mountains, and space plateaus, like Altiplano.

A male Zorro culpéo, at the border between Bolivia and Chile.


They mostly mating period is from the August to October. After a gestation period of 55-60 days, the female gives birth to cubs. The females usually give birth to 2-5 pups among the rocks.


  • Lycalopex culpaeus andinus (Thomas, 1914)
  • Lycalopex culpaeus culpaeus (Molina, 1782)
  • Lycalopex culpaeus lycoides (Philippi, 1896)
  • Lycalopex culpaeus magellanicus (Gray, 1837)
  • Lycalopex culpaeus reissii (Hilzheimer, 1906)
  • Lycalopex culpaeus smithersi (Thomas, 1914)


  1. ^ Jiménez et al. (2008). Pseudalopex culpaeus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ Macdonald, David Whyte; Claudio Sillero-Zubiri (2004). The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198515553.  

3. Andres J. Novaro, Claudio A. Moraga, Cristobal Bricen, Martin C. Funes, Andrea Marino(2009) First records of culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus) attacks and cooperative defense by guanacos (Lama guanicoe). Mammalia, Volume 73



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