The Yucatan Peninsula counts among its biodiversity with the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), a species of carnivorous mammal of the Canidae family distributed throughout the American continent, from southern Canada to Venezuela.
This species is known for being a solitary hunter and has the ability to inhabit and adapt in different ecosystems, from tropical to temperate, and has climbing habits.
It feeds on small vertebrates, and among its usual prey are the Florida rabbit, shrews, hares, bush rabbits, rats, mice, birds, insects and invertebrates such as beetles, moths, lobsters, grasshoppers, butterflies and crickets. When available, include carrion in their diet. It also consumes fruits and seeds.
It is a carnivore of the canid family, that is, from the same family as dogs, wolves, coyotes, etc. It is quite common in the Yucatan peninsula, which has jungle areas, but it is very adaptable and is easily found in areas of secondary vegetation or agricultural areas.
Being carnivorous – since its diet consists mainly of the animals it hunts – it has an important value in agricultural areas because it helps regulate the populations of mice and rats, among other pests that attack crops.
As a predator, it plays a very important role in the food chain, to maintain animal populations in general, in addition to representing an ecological balance.
Fortunately, it is not on the list of endangered species and the area allows them to have a significant number of specimens.
Its size is similar to that of the coyote, but it would be difficult to confuse these animals with each other, since the gray fox has a shorter and more acute snout, more developed ears and proportionally shorter legs. The tail is long and thick, very bushy.
The fur is dark gray or silver on the back, turning reddish on the flanks and legs, and white on the belly. A band of black hair crosses the body from the nape to the tip of the tail, following the entire back of the animal. The cheeks and throat are white, and there are two fine stripes of black hair that start from the eyes towards the back.
In their reproductive activity, gray foxes are monogamous; They mate at the beginning of spring, and after two months of gestation, the females give birth to a variable number of offspring that mature before one year of age. They can live an average of eight years, a common age of life in several species of foxes. There is no real sexual dimorphism between males and females and they only differ by their smaller size.
Urocyon cinereoargenteus / GRAY FOX
Weight: 3.8kg (adult)
Length: 60cm (adult)
Habitat: Jungle areas, but very adaptable it is very adaptable and is easily found among areas of secondary vegetation or agricultural areas.
Food: Rabbits, shrews, hares, bush rabbits, rats, mice, birds, insects, invertebrates and fruits.
Main threat: Real estate development and poaching.
Like every Friday The Mayan Journey invites you to discover the endemic fauna of the Mexican southeast. Here we share the collection we have so far. Enjoy it!
–Bats, nocturnal pollinators
–Coatí, at risk due to proximity to urban areas
–The Toh bird, real bird indicator of the health of the jungle and provider of environmental services
–Dolphins of the Laguna de Terminos, symbol of Isla del Carmen
–The flamingo, symbol of Yucatan, threatened by climate change
–Emerald hummingbird, the jewel of Cozumel
–Manatee, legends and realities
–Jungles of the peninsula, dream home for monkeys
–Loggerhead turtle, icon of the Mexican Caribbean
–Neither death nor bad omen: owls contribute to the well-being of the Yucatecan countryside
–Iguanas or garrobos, species whose protection increases among the population
–Melipona bee, a very dedicated Mayan worker
–‘Chel’, the Yucatecan bird that amazes with its plumage and blue ‘cape’
–The majestic flight of the pelicans, daily image of the ‘Carmen’ boardwalk
–The Yucatecan parrot, peninsular pride threatened by illegal trafficking
–Tapir, the ”gardener of the jungle”
–Nauyaca Yucatecan pig nose; species with special protection
–Toucans, nature’s engineering of excellence
–The raccoon, with a reputation for being smart and mischievous
–Microorganisms from the caves of the peninsula, essential in the ecological balance
–Mayan octopus, exclusive to the Yucatan peninsula with high ecological and commercial value
–Largest aquatic bird in America, it lives in the Laguna de Terminos
–Xunán kab, Mayan bee whose honey has healing properties
–Peccary, an endangered forest dweller
–Toloque coronado, auxiliary ‘dinosaur’ in insect pest control
–Spiders spread their web on the peninsula
–Black-throated hummingbird, lover of the peninsular jungle
–Cozumel raccoon fights for survival
–Puma, feline threatened by real estate development
–Kemp’s ridley turtle, could reach the peninsula due to change in sea temperature
–Bull shark, the boss of the Caribbean
–Collared Dwarf Gecko, a native lizard of the peninsula that needs to be made visible
–Sea pan, a blue-blooded animal
–Cojolite, a great unknown in the Mayan jungle
–The ‘Huech’, appreciated delicacy for the communities of the Yucatan Peninsula
–Boa constrictor, scares many but is not poisonous
–Scaly lizard, a little unknown
–Crocodiles from Laguna de Terminos, symbol of Isla del Carmen
–To the rescue of the Mexican hairless pig, originally from Yucatan
–The blue crab: a fight for survival
–The White Lady, endemic fish of Yucatan threatened by pollution
–Pejelagarto, prehistoric species that is preserved to this day
–Ruby throated hummingbird, hungry traveler arriving in the Yucatan Peninsula
Edition: Ana Ordaz
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Gray fox, a lonely hunter
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