Maned Wolf

These distinctive wild dogs are the largest South American canid, living singly or in pairs rather than packs. They are actually not closely related to wolves.


Maned wolves are generally nocturnal in their habits. Like other wild canids, females come into heat just once a year, between March and April. Although they live in pairs, occupying territories ranging up to 30 km’ (11.5 square miles), maned wolves mix only during this period. They will scent-mark their territory regularly. Their urine, used for this purpose, has a distinctive odour, resembling cannabis. This is probably the result of a pyrazine-type chemical ingested as part of their diet.

Maned wolf have fox-like coloration, with a reddish-brown coat of longish fur. These canids are omnivorous, supplementing their diet with fruit.


Distribution: Southern South America, occurring in central and southeastern parts of Brazil, plus eastern Paraguay and Bolivia. Also found in northern Argentina.

Habitat: Grassland.

Weight: 20 - 25 kg (44 - 55 lb).

Length: 150 - 160 cm (59 - 63 in); up to 91 cm (36 in) tall.

Maturity: 2 years.

Gestation Period: 60 - 65 days.

Breeding: 2 - 6; weaning at around 105 days.

Food: Omnivorous, feeding on small animals, birds and invertebrates, but probably half of its diet consists of plant matter and fruit.

Lifespan: 7 - 10 years in the wild; up to 15 in captivity.

Status: Lower risk.


The tail can be completely white, or have white fur just at the tip.


This ridge of fur can be raised, and extends from the neck down over the shoulders.


The ears measure up 8 cm (7 in) long, to locate in grass.


Long and relatively slender, the legs emphasize the athletic nature of this canid.

The maned wolf has a very narrow body.


The way in which the maned wolf hunts rodents is similar to that of a cat, pouncing on its prey from above.