Maned Wolf, Aguara Guazu
The Maned Wolf is a solitary animal with a large range and is found only in northern parts of South America, such as Brazil, Eastern Bolivia and Northern Argentina. We have seen this species at our reserve on several occasions but it seems to prefer dry conditions so when we are in wetland status they are not usually seen.
It is the largest canid of South America and is the only species in the genus 'Chrysocyon'. It can occasionally be heard, or less often sighted, in the Esteros del Iberá. It is listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN redlist although Brazil lists it as Vulnerable.
It lives in mainly grassland areas with low percentages of tree cover and seems adapted to wetlands. (Its toes are specially adapted to walking in marshland.) It looks like a very tall fox with long black legs, a black mane, large upright ears and a white tip to its tail. These long legs are probably an adaptation to enable it to see above its habitat of tall grassland. It averages 1m at the shoulders and weighs between 20-35kg.
It is nocturnal, has no natural predators (other than possibly the Jaguar) and preys on small mammals. It's omnivorous diet includes fruit as a major part, usually in the form of Solanum lycocarpum. In Argentina it is known as Aguará guazú.
It can live up to 15 years in captivity (unknown in the wild) and the female bears between 2 and 5 cubs. They form monogamous pairs although they may only come together to mate. In September we heard 2 of these mammals calling to each other many times at our reserve. We also saw footprints and managed to capture an image on Camera trap. Since then we have captured several good images of this large Canid and have also had several sightings including one very close encounter.
Threats to this species come from habitat loss. Each animal has a huge range so this threat is especially pertinent. They are also found killed on the roads and can contract diseases from dogs.