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versão On-line ISSN 2007-3364


SERVIN, Jorge; BEJARANO, Alejandro; ALONSO-PEREZ, Nicolás  e  CHACON, Elías. The home range size and habitat use of the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) in a temperate forest of Durango, Mexico. Therya [online]. 2014, vol.5, n.1, pp.257-269. ISSN 2007-3364.

Introduction: The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is distributed throughout Mexico, and yet there is little information about its life history and behavioral ecology. Basic knowledge about losses in distribution, preferred habitat features, and home range size are badly needed. This study describes the use of habitat and home range size of gray fox inhabiting the temperate forests in the La Michilla Biosphere Reserve, Durango, and makes comparisons with these features as described for this species in the United States of America and in Canada. Methodology: Radio-collars were attached to six adult foxes. They were monitored using radiotelemetry and triangulation of radio fixes. Intensive tracking involved hourly locations over 24 hr periods. Day and night time fixes were analyzed separately. Different seasons of the year were also sampled. Locations of each individual were transferred to maps, and 95% of locations were used calculate minimum convex polygons for home range estimates. Habitat usage was determined with a vegetation map of the area. Results: Our gray foxes exhibited an average home range size of 135 hectares (n = 6). Males averaged 90 ha (n = 4), and females averaged 224 ha (n = 2). Females averaged larger range sizes at all seasons of the year. There was significant seasonal variation in home range size (P < 0.001). Seven habitats were used by the foxes, and this usage pattern was significantly heterogeneous (P < 0.001). They preferred pine-oak forests while grassland with pine-oak regeneration and crop areas were less used. Discussion and conclusions: The home range size and habitat use found in this study in Durango does not differ significantly from those reported by other studies elsewhere in North American temperate forests. We intend to continue marking and monitoring more individuals in our study area in the future, and this should increase the reliability of the information reported here.

Palavras-chave : canid; carnivore; gray fox; home range; mesopredator; Mexico; mixed forests; radiotelemetry; Sierra Madre Occidental.

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