South America Living

South American Grey Fox – Punta Tombo, Argentina

Punta Tombo Nature Reserve has more than just adorable Magellanic Penguins on display… there are adorable foxes as well – the South American Grey Fox!

Foxes at Rest Station Punta Tombo

Foxes at Rest Station Punta Tombo

One added treat for nature lovers who come to observe the penguin colony is coming across one or more local South American Grey Fox – up close and personal outside the reserve´s restaurant and rest station as well as other areas.

The South American Grey fox – or Patagonia Fox – is located in the Southern Cone region of South America i.e. southernmost areas of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. They are found in greatest numbers in Patagonia. They are also on the Falkland Islands but it is not their native habitat. They were brought to the Falkland Islands in the 1920s and 1930s.

South American Grey Foxes are carnivores who feed mostly on rodents, reptiles, birds and small mammals such as rabbits. They have a body length between 42 and 68 cms (16.5-26.8 inches), tail length between 30 and 36 cms (12-14 inches) and weigh between 2 and 4 kgs (4.4-8.8 lbs). They have a life expectancy of approximately 7 years. Source: The Animal Files

They breed around March and kits are born approximately two months later. If visiting Punta Tombo in May, June or July you may encounter adults with their young toting alongside.

South American Grey foxes are not actually foxes in the scientific sense of the word. They are considered ‘false foxes’ or of the Zorro genus – a classification of species that are more similar to dog-like canids.

There are many species in the Zorro family but the South American Grey Fox has the largest population (they are not in any danger of extinction or near threatened status!). The South American Fox also goes by the name “Grey Zorro” and “Darwin’s Fox”.

For more information read: Punta Tombo Nature Reserve, Argentina

To view photos of the penguins in their native habitat at Punta Tombo click here: Magellanic Penguins at Punta Tombo.

If traveling to see the penguins (or foxes!) you may first be landing in Puerto Madryn. For basic travel information to Puerto Madryn read: Puerto Madryn – Patagonia, Argentina

Want to move to Argentina? Find out how to buy real estate, rent an apartment, money, crime & safety information and more by viewing our Living in Argentina Guide

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Photograph of foxes by María Belen Herrera, all rights reserved

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