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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 17, 2021

A pilot study on the home range and movement patterns of the Andean Fox Lycalopex culpaeus (Molina, 1782) in Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

  • Armando Castellanos , Francisco X. Castellanos ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Roland Kays and Jorge Brito ORCID logo
From the journal Mammalia


This study reports movement patterns and home range estimates of an Andean fox (Lycalopex culpaeus) in Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador, representing the first GPS-tagging of the species. The GPS functioned well during the 197-day tracking period. Home range sizes ranged between 4.9 and 8.1 km2, depending on the estimation method. Movement speeds averaged 0.17 km/h at day versus 0.87 km/h at night, and distance traveled averaged 0.23 km at day versus 0.89 km at night. These preliminary results highlight the importance of collecting unbiased, high-quality data which enables an enhanced understanding on mammal behavior and human/animal interaction.

Corresponding author: Francisco X. Castellanos, Andean Bear Foundation, Quito, Ecuador; and Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INABIO), Calle Rumipamba 341 y Av. de Los Shyris, 17-07-8976, Quito, Ecuador, E-mail:

Funding source: International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety 10.13039/501100006549

Award Identifier / Grant number: 2098 10 987


We thank the Cotopaxi Provincial Office/MAAE, Cotopaxi National Park and their park rangers, Watershed and Water Protection Fund (FONAG), Wilson Lutuala for the help provided, Susana Escandón for the research sponsorship, and Angel Yánez-Zapata for his assistance in field work. Special thanks to Christen Fleming and Shauhin Alavi for their help with the ctmm package.

  1. Author contributions: Armando Castellanos and Jorge Brito conceived this study and gathered data. Francisco Castellanos analyzed data guided by Roland Kays. All authors wrote and reviewed the manuscript prior to submission.

  2. Research funding: The procurement of the collars has been funded by the International Climate Initiative (ICI or IKI in German) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety with support of KfW Development Bank (BMZ project no. 2098 10 987).

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.

  4. Research ethics: Handling and all activities regarding specimens followed ethical procedures recommended by the American Society of Mammalogists (Sikes et al. 2016).


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Received: 2021-01-14
Accepted: 2021-07-21
Published Online: 2021-08-17
Published in Print: 2022-01-27

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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