Residing in South America, the maned wolves are believed to represent the largest canidae species in the local region. They look more like foxes instead of wolves and are the only member of the Chrysocon genus. They are known by many names in the local area, such as aguara guazu, borochi and kayak.
Let’s check out some unique facts about these maned wolves.
Species: C. brachyurus
Maned Wolf gets their name from the fact that the mane around their necks rises and stands erect as they sense the presence of danger or threat around their vicinity.
A coat of long and smooth reddish-brown hair covers their bodies which gives them the appearance of a fox or a dog. The maned wolves also have tall ears and their tails, mouths and backs are predominantly black. The legs are black and the tip of their tails, chin and throat are white. One advantage that these wolves have due to their long legs is that they can easily see above long grasses when they are running. Their shoulder heights can go up to about 35 inches and this makes them the tallest canines. They weigh somewhere around 20 to 25 kg.
The maned wolves predominantly spend their time around open grass areas and scrublands. Sometimes they can also be spotted on woodlands and wet fields.
They often hunt on the farmland pastures but do not take livestock as their prey. A distinct feature of the maned wolf is that they are often solitary and love hunting, sleeping and travelling alone. These wolves can be found in cerrado which is the largest biome in South America. This region is mostly covered by dry forests, grasslands, wet forests, savannas and marshes.
These wolves can be found extensively in eastern and central regions of South America, in countries like Central and South Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and Southern Peru. Loss of habitat is leading to their decreased populations in Uruguay.
Maned wolves are omnivorous. These wolves typically eat medium and small-sized animals such as birds, fishes, rodents and rabbits.
A large part of their regular diet consists of tubers, sugarcane, and fruits. These creatures can also survive in severely burned areas by eating small mammals.
Here is a brief look at their behavioural traits;
These wolves mate between the months of November and April. After 60 to 65 days of gestation, the female produces a litter of 2 to 6 black-furred pups that weigh somewhere around 450gm.
They reach maturity when they are 1-year-old. The pups depend on their parents to get food.
Maned wolves live for about 12 to 15 years.
While maned wolves cannot be described as a prey species, they are often attacked by feral dogs and domestic dogs.
Maned wolves can develop infections from giant kidney worm, which is a parasite that can even harm domestic dogs. Diseases like rabies virus, canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus can be fatal for these wolves.
Have a look at some interesting and lesser known facts about these maned wolves.
IUCN categorized the maned wolf as a near threatened species on earth. According to research and statistics, there are currently around 23600 adults surviving in the wild. Laws have been implemented to protect them in their habitat range. Loss of habitat along with fragmentation has led to the dwindling of their populations.
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