Parental behaviour in Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus at Belo Horizonte Zoo



    1. Departmento de Zoologia, Institute de Ciências Biologicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and Fundaç˜o Zoo-Botânica de Belo Horizonte, Av. Otácilio Negrsão de Lima, 8000 Pampulha, CEP 31365-450 Belo Horizonte, Brasil
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There is limited information on the reproductive behaviour of the Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus. Although it is a monogamous species, little is known about the ♂'s role in the rearing of pups. In 1994 a comparative study of the behaviour of two ♀♀ with new-born pups was carried out at Belo Horizonte Zoo to try to establish the ♂'s role in rearing: one ♀ was housed alone with her pups throughout the observation period; the other ♂ was housed with the ♀ and pups for the first month and alone with the pups for the second month of observation. The applied methodology for behaviour evaluation was instantaneous sampling (scan). The behaviour of each adult was recorded at one-minute intervals. Location in the enclosure and spatial proximity were also recorded. The results suggest that Maned wolves are inactive for large parts of the day and that they prefer secluded areas within an enclosure. The results also suggest that only the ♂ is directly involved in rearing the offspring and that ♀ participation is limited to protection only. The time that the ♂ stays with the pups is at a maximum on the days immediately following birth, but this time decreases considerably as the pups grow. At around day 50, when lactation has ceased, contact between the ♂ and pups is minimal and the pups have their own resting places within the enclosure. These resting places, inside the burrows or thick vegetation, are rarely shared with others.