Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Ecology of the Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus): A Review of Knowledge and Current Gaps

Version 1 : Received: 2 July 2020 / Approved: 5 July 2020 / Online: 5 July 2020 (09:06:08 CEST)

How to cite: Guntiñas, M.; Lozano, J.; Cisneros, R.; Malo, A.F. Ecology of the Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus): A Review of Knowledge and Current Gaps. Preprints 2020, 2020070057 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0057.v1). Guntiñas, M.; Lozano, J.; Cisneros, R.; Malo, A.F. Ecology of the Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus): A Review of Knowledge and Current Gaps. Preprints 2020, 2020070057 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0057.v1).

Abstract

A deep review of the existing literature on the culpeo ecology is carried out, using scientific articles, book chapters and web resources. For information published before 1988, the synthesis made by a previous report was used. For subsequent information, bibliographic searches were carried out through the main servers, considering all of the generic names used to define the species so far. From this update, new general patterns on ecology, behavior and conservation concerns about culpeos are described. Gaps in current knowledge have been identified and new lines of research are proposed.Most of the studies focused on diet, conflicts with the species in livestock areas, and on the use of space and habitat. We found an incomplete, poor justification for all of the proposed subspecies and their supposed geographical distribution, as well as a scarcity of studies on genetic issues, population dynamics and conservation concerns. It is remarkable that vast regions in South America holding culpeos lacked basic information on the species.Diet studies describe a marked trend towards resources selection at the local level, which supports the view of the culpeo as a facultative trophic specialist. In addition, it has been confirmed that in the high Andes the culpeo is also a top predator that may regulate carnivorous communities, as well as that in arid environments culpeos can act as important seed dispersers. The assessment of the conservation status of the species differs among regions, although there is no sufficient information to reach clear conclusions in most cases. Even so, in Ecuador and Colombia the species has been listed as ‘Vulnerable’. Direct persecution and habitat alteration are considered to be the most important threats that the species is facing in many countries, although other risk factors such as climate change could also have serious consequences for the canid at the global scale.

Subject Areas

Andean fox; canids; carnivore ecology; Neotropical region; top predator; wolves

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