The Andean fox: learn more about this species to which the popular Run Run belongs

“Run Run” is already a celebrity and the news of his search and subsequent capture in Comas has transcended borders. The elusive specimen is an Andean fox, a wild species that lives in much of the country. The Andean fox has been seen on the coast up to about 4,000 meters above sea level. Let’s get to know a little more about them.

The Andean fox (Lycalopex culpaeus) is a species that belongs to the canid family that lives in the high Andean region of Peru and is distributed from Ecuador, Colombia to Argentina and Chile.

Research affirms that South American canids most likely evolved from a few forms that came from North America and entered South America just after the Isthmus of Panama was established joining both continents, making it very different from a European fox.

This species develops very quickly if fed properly, they have a gestation period of 55 to 60 days, the litters are 3 to 5 pups, becoming sexually active at the end of their first year, although this will depend on finding females and have their own territory.

During the first months the young walk with their mother in their burrow, where the young do not come out during the first weeks, they are completely dependent on the mother for the first four or five months, but they remain accompanied until the end of the first year.

In this regard, the National Forest and Wildlife Service (Serfor) states that the Andean fox is the largest of the three fox species distributed in Peru and is characterized by its reddish color. Due to its wide distribution, it can adapt to many types of habitat: from the humid puna to montane forests, mainly in the eastern part of the Andes.

In Peru there are six species of canids: the Andean fox, the coastal fox, the culpeo fox, the short-eared dog, the maned wolf and the bush dog. “Run Run” belongs to the species Lycalopex culpaeus, (Andean fox) and is part of the group of wild canids.

Food and habits

The Andean fox is an omnivorous animal. It has a preference for meat, its diet includes rodents, lagomorphs, sheep and birds; but it also consumes invertebrates, fruits and some plant remains.

Their activity patterns are at dusk, but vary according to geographic areas and times of the year. They have been sighted in open habitats in the Andes mountains, in forests, and near peri-urban areas.

Newborns weigh 170 g on average and are born with their eyes closed. When it reaches adulthood it can weigh up to 14 kg and measure between 60 and 115 cm in length.

Run Run

Run Run was captured last night when he was wandering around the Sol Naciente human settlement in the Comas district. The Serfor assured that the specimen was rescued according to the intervention protocols in natural environments applied on this occasion for the urban area, by means of a tranquilizer dart.

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This specimen was taken from its natural habitat as a result of illegal trade to live with a domestic animal in the capital.

The Serfor indicates that the Andean fox is among the species found most frequently in the police operations of the Technical Forestry and Wildlife Administrations (ATFFS) carried out in Puno, parts of the legs, tail or head of this species are frequently confiscated. species, as well as their offspring.

In this regard, Serfor states that wildlife trafficking affects our biodiversity and is punishable by Peruvian law with 3 to 5 years in prison.

According to the general director of Biological Diversity of the Ministry of the Environment, José Álvarez, the case of the “Run Run” fox should put us on alert about the risks of interaction with wildlife, as the covid-19 pandemic has shown, as it is shown that the virus came from a wild animal.

He added that the mistreatment of nature in general, and wildlife in particular, is a favorable scenario for the recurrence of pandemics like the current one. That is why we must become aware of the need to improve our treatment of nature, and denounce any type of illicit wildlife trafficking, which produces consequences, in many cases irreparable, for the species of our biodiversity.

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Published: 9/11/2021

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The Andean fox: learn more about this species to which the popular Run Run belongs

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