Maned Wolf

Chrysocyon brachyurus

©Adriano Gambarini

Standard English Name

Maned Wolf

Scientific Name

Chrysocyon brachyurus

Brazilian common name/s


Distribution Map - IUCN

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Physical Description

The Maned wolf weighs between 20 and 32 kg, with a total length between 145 and 190 cm and stands 80 cm above the ground at the shoulders. It is the most popular carnivores of the Brazilian cerrado. It has large, erect ears, elongated limbs and a striding gait. The coat is generally a reddish-gold. Long black hairs form a mane that extends from the back of the head to the top of the shoulders. There is also black coloration at the end of the paws and snout. The tip of the neck and tail are white.

Ecology and Habitat

The original range of this species included the central region of Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, the extreme east of Peru, north-eastern Argentina and Uruguay, always in areas of open vegetation, such as fields and pastures. They are territorial and occupy large home ranges that vary between 25 and 115 km2. They are most active at dusk and during the night.

This species is omnivorous, incorporating a wide variety of items in their diet, which varies seasonally. Among them are fruits such as the “fruta-do-lobo”, for which the Maned wolf is the primary seed disperser. In addition to eating fruits, this species also feeds on small mammals, birds, insects and reptiles.

Although they share the same physical space, Maned wolf couples rarely have contact except during the breeding season. During this period, they both emit characteristic vocalizations. They are facultatively monogamous (i.e. males are not absolutely necessary for rearing the litter) and commonly maintain the same breeding pair. On average 1 to 5 pups are born after a gestation period of about 65 days. Both parents care for their offspring, at least in the early stages of the development.

Threats and Conservation

Their populations have suffered significant decline, with habitat loss being the main threat to this species. Hunting has also led to declines due to popular beliefs about body parts of the animal. With agricultural expansion, the increase in conflict due to occasional predation by Maned wolves on domestic livestock has led to even greater hunting pressure. Road kills are also an important cause of mortality in some populations. They are classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as a near threatened / low risk species, and by IBAMA, as threatened with extinction (Vulnerable).

General information

Average values with minimum and maximum in parentheses

Body / tail length (cm):

106 (95-115)a / 45 (38-50)a



Weight (kg) / Height (cm):

25 (20-30)a / 83a, b

Living area (km2):

44 (5-105)b,e,f,g,h

Number of puppies / Gestation (days):

3 (1-7)c,d / 65c,d

Longevity (years):

16 (máximo)c,d

Social structure:

Solitários ou casais durante a reproduçãoa,b

Activity pattern:

Noturno / crepuscular i

a (Rodden et al. 2004),b (Jacomo et al. 2009), c (Maia & Gouveia 2002), d (Veado 2007), e (de Melo et al. 2006), f (Trolle et al. 2007), g (Silveira et al. 2009), h(Juarez & Marinho 2002), i (Sabato et al. 2006)

Online links

IUCN Canid Specialist Group –
Canid News –


Aragona, M., & Setz, E. Z. F. (2001). Diet of the maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus (Mammalia : Canidae), during wet and dry seasons at Ibitipoca State Park, Brazil. Journal of Zoology, 254, 131-136.

Brady, C. A. (1981). The vocal repertoires of the bush dog (Speothos venaticus), crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), and maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Animal Behaviour, 29, 649-669.

Bueno, A. D., & Motta, J. C. (2004). Food habits of two syntopic canids, the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) and the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), in southeastern Brazil. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural, 77, 5-14.

Bueno, A. D., & Motta, J. C. (2009). Feeding habits of the maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus (Carnivora: Canidae), in southeast Brazil. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 44, 67-75.

Dietz, J. M. (1984). Ecology and social organization of the maned wolf. Smithsonian Contrib. Zool, 392, 1-51.

Jacomo, A. T. D., Kashivakura, C. K., Ferro, C., Furtado, M. M., Astete, S. P., Torres, N. M., Sollmann, R., & Silveira, L. (2009). Home range and spatial organization of Maned Wolves in the Brazilian grasslands. Journal of Mammalogy, 90, 150-157.

Juarez, K. M., & Marinho, J. (2002). Diet, habitat use, and home ranges of sympatric canids in central Brazil. Journal of Mammalogy, 83, 925-933.

Jácomo, A. T. A., Silveira, L., & Diniz, J. A. F. (2004). Niche separation between the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), the crab-eating fox (Dusicyon thous) and the hoary fox (Dusicyon vetulus) in central Brazil. Journal of Zoology, 262, 99-106.

Kleiman, D. G. (1972). Social behavior of the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) and bush dog (Speothos venaticus): a study in contrast. Journal of Mammalogy, , 791-806.

Paula, R. C., Medici, P., & Morato, R. G. (2008). Plano de Ação para a Conservação do Lobo-Guará – Análise de Viabilidade Populacional e de Habitat. Brasília: Centro Nacional de Pesquisas para Conservação dos Predadores Naturais – CENAP/ICMBio.

Queirolo, D., & Motta-Junior, J. C. (2007). Prey availability and diet of maned wolf in Serra da Canastra National Park, southeastern Brazil. Acta Theriologica, 52, 391-402.

Rodden, M., Rodrigues, F. H. G., & Bestelmeyer, S. (2004). Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus: Illiger 1815). In C. Sillero-Zubiri, M. Hoffmann & D. W. Macdonald (Eds.), Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (pp. 26-31). Gland / Cambrigde:  IUCN.

Rodrigues, F. H. G., Hass, A., Lacerda, A. C. R., Grando, R. L. S. C., Bagno, M. A., Bezerra, A. M. R., & Silva, W. R. (2007). Feeding Habits Of The Maned Wolf  (Chrysocyon Brachyurus) In The Brazilian Cerrado. Mastozoología Neotropical, 14, 37-51.

Sabato, M. A. L., de Melo, L. F. B., Magni, E. M. V., Young, R. J., & Coelho, C. M. (2006). A note on the effect of the full moon on the activity of wild maned wolves, Chrysocyon brachyurus. Behavioural Processes, 73, 228-230.

Santos, E. F., Setz, E. Z. F., & Gobbi, N. (2003). Diet of the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) and its role in seed dispersal on a cattle ranch in Brazil. Journal of Zoology, 260, 203-208.

Silva, J. A., & Talamoni, S. A. (2003). Diet adjustments of maned wolves, Chrysocyon brachyurus (Illiger)(Mammalia, Canidae), subjected to supplemental feeding in a private natural reserve, Southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 20, 339-345.

Silveira, L., Furtado, M. M., Torres, N. M., Sollmann, R., Uhl, G., & Jacomo, A. T. D. A. (2009). Maned Wolf Density in a Central Brazilian Grassland Reserve. Journal of Wildlife Management, 73, 68-71.

Trolle, M., Noss, A. J., Lima, E. D. S., & Dalponte, J. C. (2007). Camera-trap studies of maned wolf density in the Cerrado and the Pantanal of Brazil. Biodiversity and Conservation, 16, 1197-1204.

Veado, B. V. (2007). Parental behaviour in maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus at Belo Horizonte Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook, 35, 279-286.

de Melo, L. F., Sábato, M. A., Magni, E. M., Young, R. J., & Coelho, C. M. (2006). Secret lives of maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus Illiger 1815): as revealed by GPS tracking collars. Journal of zoology, 271, 27-36.

Learn more about Brazilian carnivore species