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Encyclopedia > Falkland Island Wolf
Falkland Island Fox
Conservation status: Extinct (1876)

Illustration by John Gerrard Keulemans (1842-1912)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Dusicyon
Species: D. australis
Binomial name
Dusicyon australis
(Kerr, 1792)


The Falkland Island Fox (Dusicyon australis, formerly named Canis antarcticus by Darwin), also known as the Warrah and occasionally as the Falkland Island Wolf or Antarctic Wolf and by Argentine writers as the Malvinas Zorro, was the only native land mammal of the Falkland Islands. This endemic canid became extinct in 1876, the only known canid to have gone extinct in historical times. Its most closely related species in the genus Dusicyon of southern-hemisphere foxes is Dusicyon griseus, the Patagonian Fox.


The fur of the Falkland Island Fox had a tawny colour. The diet is unknown. Due to the absence of native rodents it probably consisted of ground-nesting birds such as geese and penguins, grubs and insects, as well as seashore scavenging (Allen 1942).


The Falkland Island Fox was reported to have been common and tame, when Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1833. The settlers regarded the fox as a threat to their sheep and organised poisoning and shooting on a massive scale. The absence of forests led to a speedy success of the extermination campaign.


Reference

  • G.M. Allen, Extinct and Vanishing Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, 1942

  Results from FactBites:
 
Falkland Islands - LoveToKnow Watches (2486 words)
The Falkland Islands consist entirely, so far as is known, of the older Palaeozoic rocks, Lower Devonian or Upper Silurian, slightly metamorphosed and a good deal crumpled and distorted, in the low grounds clay slate and soft sandstone, and on the ridges hardened sandstone passing into the conspicuous white quartzites.
The Falkland Islands are a crown colony, with a governor and executive and legislative councils.
The Falkland Islands were first seen by Davis in the year 1592, and Sir Richard Hawkins sailed along their north shore in 1594 The claims of Amerigo Vespucci to a previous discovery are doubtful.
Falkland Island Fox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (432 words)
The Falkland Island Fox (Dusicyon australis, formerly named Canis antarcticus), also known as the Warrah and occasionally as the Falkland Island Wolf or Antarctic Wolf and by Argentine writers as the Malvinas Zorro, was the only native land mammal of the Falkland Islands.
This was facilitated by the animal's tameness, as is common in insular species due to the absence of predators - trappers would lure the animal with a chunk of meat held in one hand, and kill it with a knife or stick held in the other.
DNA analysis of museum specimens have proved rather inconclusive as to the exact relationship of this animal, some even suggesting hybridization (during the domestication process) with a relative or progenitor of the coyote; it is not known whether this would have been biologically possible.
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