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Connecticut College

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation

Abstract

The Cerro Hojas-Jaboncillo, located in Central Manabí, Ecuador, is a Patrimonial site that, in addition to containing the ruins of an ancient culture, is home to a species of mammal endemic to the tumbesian eco-region. Currently listed by the ‘LibroRojo de los mamíferos del Ecuador’ as vulnerable, the Sechuran Fox (Lycalopexsechurae) is a nocturnal and solitary animal, of a medium size, that is rarely seen due to its elusive behavior. This species is the focus of this investigation, which seeks to gain an understanding of the plants and animals that the Sechuran Fox requires for food, the home range that they need in order to survive, the role that human beings play with respect to the species, and the threats that they face. During three weeks of investigation, methodologies applied including direct observation, examination of scat, use of transects, use of local knowledge, and use of relevant publications, revealed that the Sechuran Fox is an opportunistic animal with a varied diet, principally consisting of fruits during late dry season, that can adapt to live alongside human beings in fragmented environments. In addition, the main threat that the Sechuran Fox faces is the loss of its habitat. The conservation of the species requires campaigns to educate the people who live alongside the Fox about the species and prevent the destruction of the few natural Dry Forest and Scrub habitats that still exist.

Disciplines

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Natural Resources and Conservation

 

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