The maned wolf is considered for being the largest canid of South America. Looks like a fox; this mammal is the only species in the genus Chrysocon. Locally, the mammal is popular as aguara guazu or kayak. In Bolivia, the maned wolf is called borochi. IUCN categorized this mammal as a near threatened species on earth.
Genus: Chrysocyon Smith, 1839
Species: C. brachyurus
The name “maned wolf” is derived from the characteristics mane on the neck which stands erect when it smells danger.
Their body is covered with long, reddish-brown hair that makes them look similar to that of a fox and dog. They have long black legs and tall ears. The mouth, back, and tail of the mammal are black in color. The tip of the chin, throat, and tail are white. Their long legs allow them to see above the long grass while running. With a shoulder height of up to 35 inches, this mammal is the tallest member of the canine family. Maned wolves weigh 20-25 kg.
They are mostly found in open grass, scrubland, woodland, and even in wet fields. Maned wolves are also seen hunting on farmland pastures, but they don’t prey on livestock.
They prefer hunting, travelling, and sleeping alone. Maned wolves inhabit the cerrado, the largest biome of South America. It is basically comprised of dry and wet forests, grasslands, marshes, and savannas.
Maned wolves are found throughout central and eastern South America including Central and South Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and Southern Peru. Their population is decreasing in Uruguay because of loss of habitat.
Maned wolves are omnivorous. They usually prey on small and medium-sized animals like birds, rodents, fish, and rabbits.
The large portion of their diet comprises of sugarcane, tubers, and fruits. They can even survive in burned areas where there are found small mammals like calmy, necromys, etc. These wolves are also seen tapping the ground with their front foot to flush out the prey.
Please take a glance at their behavioural traits;
Their mating season starts from the month of November and continues till April. The gestation period lasts for 60-65 days and a litter produces two to six black furred pups.
These pups weigh around 450gm. They are fully grown when one year old. At the initial stage, the pups rely on their parents for food.
Maned wolves live for 12-15 years.
The maned wolf is not a common prey species for the predator. But, these species are attacked by feral dogs. Domestic dogs are also considered for being their predators.
Maned wolves are susceptible to infection by giant kidney form, a parasite that may also harm domestic dogs. They die from diseases of domestic dogs like rabies virus, canine adenovirus, and canine parvovirus.
Here we bring some interesting facts about this invasive mammal.
As per research, there are around 23,600 adults left in the wild. Maned wolves are protected by law in some parts of their range. The main threat of this mammal is the loss of habitat and fragmentation.
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