Are Maned Wolf Endangered Species? – (Characteristics, facts & Pictures)

Figuring out if the maned wolf is marked as extinct or not?

Presently IUNC listed maned wolves as near-threatened species. This means that the species’ population is declining and need conservation efforts.

The Maned Wolf, with its unique appearance and behavior, is an iconic animal found in the grasslands and savannas of South America. The scientific name of this wolf species is Chrysocyon brachyurus.

maned wolf, grassland, savanah

But what is the conservation status of this fascinating wolf species? Sadly, the maned wolf is currently marked as a “near threatened” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This species is facing the threat of extinction due to its habitat loss because of agricultural expansion, hunting, and new developments. Let’s explore more about this species and what brought this species nearer to extinction.

Wild Maned Wolves & Captive Maned Wolves

Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is a unique Canid family species with interesting characteristics and facts. But there are some differences between the wolves living in the wild and the ones captivated in zoos. Some of them are given below.

Maned Wolf Size & lifespan

The Maned Wolf is an intriguing animal that is known for its unique appearance. It is a slender canid that stands around 3 feet tall at the shoulder and weighs between 50-70 pounds.

One of the most striking features of the Maned Wolf is its long, slender legs, adapted for running through the tall grasses of savannas in its native South America.

These animals have a lifespan of around 12-15 years in the wild, although some have been known to live up to 20 years.

On the other hand, the captive maned wolves live for atleast 7 years and a maximum of 12 to 15 years.

Maned Wolf Appearance

Maned wolf has a striking appearance that includes reddish-brown fur and a mane of long, black-tipped hair that runs from the back of its head down to the shoulders, which adds more beauty to its look.

With this, these maned wolves have large, erect ears, which is their defining characteristic, which also helps the maned-wolves to detect prey and predators from afar.

Maned Wolf Diet

The Maned Wolf’s diet is different from the other members of the Canidae family. The Maned Wolf is primarily a herbivore, as 50% of its diet depends on fruits.

These fruits are an essential part of the Maned Wolf’s diet and provide it with all the nutrients that they don’t get through the beef.

Additionally, the Maned Wolves also prey animals like birds, reptiles, and fish. Interestingly, the Maned Wolf has been known to use its unique hunting techniques to capture prey, such as jumping high into the air to catch birds.

An interesting fact about the captive maned wolves is that the zookeepers keep a strict track and balance on their zoo diets.

As if these wolves consume heavy meat diets, they get infected with kidney diseases which eventually result in kidney stones.

Maned Wolf Reproduction & Breeding Season

The Breeding season of maned wolves usually occurs from May to July, during which the males and females usually roam long distances to find their mates.

Once they have found a mate, the pair will remain together for the entire breeding season. After a gestation period of around 60-70 days, the female gives birth to a litter of 2-6 pups.

Interesting facts about Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is among the tallest wild canid.

The Maned Wolf is one of the most unique and fascinating members of the Canid family. Standing up to three feet tall at the shoulder, it is the tallest of all wild canids.

Unlike other predators, such as wolves and foxes, the Maned Wolf’s unique long legs allow it to see over the tall grasses of its native South American habitat.

But why did the Maned Wolf evolve to be so tall? It is found that it has developed its height in response to the tall grasses that dominate its habitat.

Does Maned Wolf howl?

As a member of the Canidae family, the Maned Wolf is often associated with the classic image of a wolf howling at the moon. However, despite its name and physical resemblance with the wolves, the Maned Wolf has a distinct vocalization that sets it apart from other canids.

Instead of a howl, the Maned Wolf emits a deep, booming bark that can be heard over long distances. This unique vocalization is used to communicate with other members of its species and to mark its territory.

Its other vocalizations, including whines, growls, and grunts, convey different messages. While the Maned Wolf may not howl like a traditional wolf.

How does a wild-maned wolf feed their pups?

Wild Maned wolves feed their pups differently as compared to other predators. Their pups are born blind and helpless and rely on their mother’s milk for the first few weeks of their lives.

But as the pups grow, the male-maned wolves start regurgitating partially-digested food, which pups can ingest easily without choking. Moreover, even in a zoological setting, male maned wolves have been observed regurgitating food for their young ones.

How Habitat Fragmentation is Destroying Maned-Wolf Genetics

Habitat fragmentation is one of the greatest threats to Maned Wolves. But what is Habitat fragmentation?

When large areas of natural habitat are broken up into smaller, isolated fragments due to human activities such as agriculture and urbanization.

As a result, the once contiguous habitat of the Maned Wolf has become patchy and fragmented, leading to a decline in genetic diversity.

This loss of genetic diversity can make the population more vulnerable to diseases and environmental stressors, which in turn can lead to a decrease in the overall health of the species.

Therefore, it is crucial to take steps to reduce habitat fragmentation and preserve the natural connectivity of the Maned Wolf’s habitat to ensure the long-term survival of this magnificent species.

Most of what we know of wild maned wolves comes from their poop

Scientists have discovered that one of the most effective ways to study this species of wolf is by analyzing their poop.

By collecting and analyzing maned wolf scat, researchers can gain valuable insights about their diet, health, and even their social behavior.

For instance, the presence of certain plant fibers and seeds in their poop can reveal what types of vegetation they consume, while the amount and quality of their feces can indicate their overall health.

Therefore, by studying maned wolf poop, researchers can understand more details of the maned wolves and their role in ecosystems.


The Maned-wolf is currently classified as a near-threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While they are not currently considered endangered species, however, their populations have been declining due to habitat loss, hunting, and road accidents.

It is crucial that conservation efforts are made to protect these unique and beautiful animals before they count as endangered species.

The implementation of habitat conservation and management plans, as well as education and outreach programs, can help raise awareness about the importance of preserving the Maned-wolf species.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a maned wolf different from a regular wolf?

These wolves have a fox-like appearance with long legs, which makes them different from regular wolves.

How many maned wolves are left?

In the wild, the remaining maned wolves that left are around 23,600 and are counted as threatened species.

Is the maned wolf an Autotroph or Heterotroph?

All maned wolves are heterotrophic in nature as they hunt and ingest their food on their own.

What makes wolves different from other animals?

Wolves are complex, highly intelligent animals who are caring and playful compared to other animals.

Olivia Kepner