PREVOSTI Francisco Juan
congresos y reuniones científicas
EXTINCTIONS IN NEAR TIME: NEW RADIOCARBON DATES INDICATE A VERY RECENT DISAPPEARANCE OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN FOX DUSICYON AVUS (CARNIVORA, CANIDAE)
PREVOSTI FRANCISCO J.
Jornada; 29 Jornadas Argentinas de Paleontología Vertebrados; 2015
Almost all large carnivorans (Carnivora; > 20 kg) that inhabited South America becameextinct around the Late Pleistocene-early Holocene transition. The exceptions weremembers of two coyote-sized Dusicyon species, one insular (D. australis) and othercontinental (D. avus). The extinction of the former is a resolved matter; whereas that of D.avus, a species distributed in the Patagonian and Pampean regions, is still poorlyunderstood. Here we present new radiocarbon evidence indicating that its disappearanceoccurred in very recent times, about 324 to 496 years cal BP. Using the Gaussian-Resampled Inverse-Weighted McInerny method we analyzed the age of extinction andconcluded that D. avus became extinct in the last few centuries (and potentially could evenstill be extant). We found no evidence to support a role of hybridization with domestic dogsin the extirpation of this fox. Climate change may have reduced its distributional range, asit has happened with other mammals, although not to the extent of explaining its extinction.Climate change however, coupled with increased anthropogenic impacts such as hunting,the presence of domestic dogs, and/or the impact of European colonization in SouthAmerica?s southern cone are put forward as the main drivers that would have triggered therecent extinction of D. avus.