Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)


Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family:    Canidae
Size:    Length: 3.5 to 4.5 feet (1.1 to 1.4 m)
Weight: 44 to 51 pounds (20 to 23 kg)
Diet: Small animals such as guinea pigs, rodents and birds as well as fruit and sugar cane
Distribution: South America
Young:  1 to 5 pups
Animal Predators:  Unknown
IUCN Status: Lower Risk, Near Threatened
Terms: Young: Pup
Lifespan: Approximately 10 to 15 years in captivity



·        Their scientific name means “fox on stilts.”

·        They are the largest of all the South American canids.

·        Maned wolves come out during the day only in areas where there is no human activity.

·        The maned wolf (also called the lobo guara) is non-threatening to humans.



Maned wolves resemble foxes with very long legs. Like foxes, they have a long snout, large, pointy ears and red fur. The lower legs are black, the tip of the tail is sometimes white and along the ridge of the neck is a black mane that rises when they feel threatened.



Maned wolves can be found in central South America—in the grasslands and forests of eastern Bolivia, northern Argentina, central and southern Brazil, Paraguay and southeastern Peru. They were once found in Uruguay, but disappeared there sometime in the 19th century. 


Feeding Habits

Maned wolves prey on small animals such as guinea pigs, rodents and birds, but up to half of their diet consists of fruit, especially loberia, and sugar cane. Rather than chasing prey, maned wolves stalk and then pounce on it. 



Maned wolves are believed to be monogamous, although their mating habits have only been studied in captivity. The female gives birth to her litter in a nest hidden amongst tall grass and thick bushes. The pups open their eyes in eight to nine days. The male brings food back to the female while the pups are small, and when they begin to eat solid food at approximately one month, he brings back food for them as well, eating it and then regurgitating it so they can digest the food. He also grooms the pups and plays with them. Initially the pups grow black fur, but it changes to red by 10 weeks, and they are weaned by three to four months. By the time the pups are one year old, their short legs will have lengthened to match those of their parents. They stay with their parents until they reach two years of age, when they are ready to find a mate and establish a territory of their own. 



Like foxes, they usually hunt alone. Their long legs help them to see above tall grass. They are unable to dig well, so make their dens in rocky crevices or in sheltered, bushy areas.



They are classified as endangered by the government of Brazil. The main reasons for their precarious status are hunting and the destruction of their habitat. Their population is estimated at approximately 2,200. 



Maned Wolf Wildlife Fact File, IM Pub, US