Mammalian Biology

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 220–229 | Cite as

Activity, habitat use, density, and reproductive biology of the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) and comparison with the pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus) in a Restinga area in the southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest

  • Mariana Faria-Corrêa
  • Rodrigo A. Balbueno
  • Emerson M. VieiraEmail author
  • Thales R. O. de Freitas
Original Investigation


The ecology and reproductive biology of the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) and the pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus) were studied in Itapuã State Park, an Atlantic Forest fragment. In this study we describe their activity patterns (diel, lunar, and seasonal), reproductive period, density, spatial distribution, and habitat overlap. The crab-eating fox was more abundant than the pampas fox, occurring in all types of habitats and overlapping with the pampas fox only in the southern portion of the study area, covered by open vegetation. Both canid species presented nocturnal habits and C. thous showed no significant differences in activity among lunar phases or else year season. The density of C. thous was estimated to be 0.78 ind/km2. The crab-eating fox reproduced once a year, generating pups during spring (October to December). In comparison with C. thous populations from lower-latitude regions the relatively low density and one reproductive event per year that we observed are probably related to a colder climate, shorter photoperiod, and shortage of food resources in the winter, characteristic of southern Brazil.


Activity patterns Canidae Habitat use Niche overlap sympatry 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariana Faria-Corrêa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rodrigo A. Balbueno
    • 3
  • Emerson M. Vieira
    • 4
    Email author
  • Thales R. O. de Freitas
    • 5
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em EcologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.THERIS Research, Management and Conservation of WildlifePorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Biolaw Consultoria AmbientalPorto AlegreBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Ecologia de Mamíferos, ZoologiaUniversidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos - UNISINOSSão LeopoldoBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de GenéticaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil

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