Ducicyon australis

Falkland Islands Wolf
(Dusicyon australis)

syn. Canis antarcticus



local name: -

size: 1,20 m (length)

extinction date: 1876

With a size of about 1,20 m (snout to tail tip) the Falkland Islands Wolf wasn't much more than a somewhat larger version of a fox. It's home were the Falkland Islands, where it preyed on Penguins and Magellan Geese and also fed on dead Seals.

When Europeans settled on the Falkland Islands they also brought loads of sheep along. The settlers decimated the Falkland Islands Wolf's natural prey and compelled this intelligent carnivore to adapt to new prey. So it had become the 'ferocious sheep killer', and that meant nothing but its sentence of death.

Faced with humans the Falkland Islands Wolfes were absolutly harmless, they could be fed from hand with no further ado, and by that way they could easily be struck dead - and actually most were killed that way.

The last Falkland Islands Wolf was killed (in which way ever) in the year 1876.


Falkland Islands Wolf (Dusicyon australis)

Depiction from 'Darwin, C. R. ed. 1838. Mammalia Part 2 No. 1 of The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. By George R. Waterhouse. Includes by Darwin: Geographical introduction (pp. i-v) and A notice of their habits and ranges. Edited and superintended by Charles Darwin. London: Smith Elder and Co.'

by courtesy and with permission from Dr. John van Wyhe

The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online