Pampas Fox

Lycalopex gymnocercus

©Fabio Mazin

Standard English Name

Pampas fox

Scientific Name

Lycalopex gymnocercus

Brazilian common name/s


Distribution Map - IUCN

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Physical Description

A medium sized canid, with an average weight of 5kg (3-8kg), very similar to Cerdocyon thous but lighter coloured on the back and silvery-gray on the front paws, with a very dense coat.

It is usually nocturnal, but it may also be seen during the day

Ecology and Habitat

Pampas Fox occur in the central-east of South America, from southern Brazil and eastern Bolivia, in the open habitats of pampas, savannas, and chaco.

Their food consists of fruits, small vertebrates (mainly mammals), insects and carrion.

After a gestation of 55 to 60 days, the female gives birth to a litter of on average 3 to 5 puppies, which are usually born between August and November.

Threats and Conservation

The main threats to the species are loss of habitat as a result of agricultural expansion, and culling as a result of predation on domestic livestock especially lambs and chickens.

It is not listed as endangered by IUCN or IBAMA, but is on Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of flora and fauna threatened with extinction).

General information

Average values with minimum and maximum in parentheses

Body / tail length (cm):

64 (50-74)a / 33 (25-41)a


Onívora a,b

Weight (kg) / Height (cm):

5 (3-6)a / -

Living area (km2):


Number of puppies / Gestation (days):

(3-5) a / (55-60) a

Longevity (years):


Social structure:

Solitários ou casais durante a reprodução a

Activity pattern:

Noturno e diurno a,c

a (Lucherini et al. 2004), b (Garcia & Kittein 2005), c (Di Bitetti et al. 2009)

Online links

IUCN Canid Specialist Group –
Canid News –


Di Bitetti, M. S., Di Blanco, Y. E., Pereira, J. A., Paviolo, A., & Perez, I. J. (2009). Time partitioning favors the coexistence of sympatric Crab-eating Foxes (Cerdocyon thous) and Pampas Foxes (Lycalopex gymnocercus). Journal of Mammalogy, 90, 479-490.

Farias, A. A., & Kittlein, M. J. (2008). Small-scale spatial variability in the diet of pampas foxes (Pseudalopex gymnocercus) and human-induced changes in prey base. Ecological Research, 23, 543-550.

Garcia, V. B., & Kittein, M. J. (2005). Diet, habitat use, and relative abundance of pampas fox (Pseudalopex gymnocercus) in northern Patagonia, Argentina. Mammalian Biology, 70, 218-226.

Lucherini, M., Pessino, M., & Farias, A. A. (2004). Pampas fox Pseudalopex gymnocercus (Fischer, 1814). In C. Sillero-Zubiri, M. Hoffmann & D. W. Macdonald (Eds.), Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (pp. 63-68). Gland / Cambrigde: IUCN.

Learn more about Brazilian carnivore species