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Distribución espacial de los excrementos de zorro rojo (Vulpes vulpes, Linnaeus 1758) en los Montes do Invernadeiro (Ourense)

Depto. Biología. Unidad de Zoología. Univ. Autónoma de Madrid. Campus Universitario de Cantoblanco, 28049, Madrid
Spanish Journal of Mammalogy (Galemys) 10/2001; 13:171-178.

ABSTRACT RESUMEN Los excrementos parecen jugar un importante papel en la comunicación olfativa de la mayoría de los carnívoros, habiéndose discutido su valor como señales territoriales dentro de la familia de los cáni-dos. En este trabajo se analiza la distribución espacial de las heces de zorro rojo ibérico (Vulpes vulpes silacea, Miller 1907) en los Montes do Invernadeiro (Ourense), a partir del examen de varios itinerarios que incluían pistas y cortafuegos. Estos itinerarios fueron recorridos aproximadamente cada mes y me-dio, durante un período de 8 meses, y proporcionaron un total de 196 excrementos, distribuidos sobre todo en puntos conspicuos (plantas, elevaciones del terreno, piedras, cruces de caminos, carroña, ex-crementos de otras especies y objetos de origen antrópico), que presumiblemente servirían para ampli-ficar de forma visual y/o olfativa su eficiencia señalizadora. Se pudo apreciar una dicotomía entre los cruces de caminos, con heces colocadas en sustratos conspicuos, y los tramos sencillos (sin cruces), donde una gran proporción de los excrementos yacían directamente en el suelo. Este hecho parece con-firmar el papel señalizador de las heces en los zorros. En los cruces el riesgo de intrusión es grande, y por tanto también la probabilidad de que una marca allí colocada sea detectada por otro individuo. Si los sustratos además son llamativos, la presencia de los excrementos en los cruces de caminos quedará doblemente realzada. Palabras Clave: Carnívoros, comunicación química, excrementos, marcas territoriales, señalización olo-rosa, zorro rojo.

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