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Secret lives of maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus Illiger 1815): as revealed by GPS tracking collars

de Melo, L; Sabato, M; Magni, E; Young, R; Coelho, M


L de Melo

M Sabato

E Magni

M Coelho


The maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus is a nocturnal and shy species, which has proven difficult to study in the field; consequently, data about its behavioural biology are almost absent from the scientific literature. However, recent advances in global positioning system (GPS) technology mean that it is now possible to study the socio-spatial dynamics of this species in the field. In the present study three related maned wolves (an adult pair and their juvenile female offspring) were monitored by GPS tracking collars for a 6-month period, which included the birth of a litter of pups to the adult pair. The three GPS collars were programmed to record the position of the wearer every 2 h (simultaneously for all three individuals). Analyses of the data from the three individuals showed that the female had the largest home range, then the male and finally the juvenile. Furthermore, there was considerable overlap in home-range use by all three individuals. The home ranges of the adult pair also varied in relation to the birth of pups (decreasing dramatically and then showing a slow increase). During the night, which is the normal period of activity for this species, the three individuals avoided contact with each other. However, during the day, the adult pair usually slept together and their juvenile slept within a few hundred metres of their location. The distance travelled at night was greatest for the female, then the male and finally the juvenile. These data suggest that (1) the social bond between the male and female is strong, (2) maned wolves are highly tolerant of their juvenile offspring, even in the case of new pups being born, and (3) that maned wolves do not hunt together and, in fact, avoid each other when hunting.


de Melo, L., Sabato, M., Magni, E., Young, R., & Coelho, M. (2007). Secret lives of maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus Illiger 1815): as revealed by GPS tracking collars. Journal of Zoology, 271(1), 27-36.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jul 20, 2006
Publication Date Jan 1, 2007
Deposit Date Jun 2, 2023
Journal Journal of Zoology
Print ISSN 0952-8369
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 271
Issue 1
Pages 27-36