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The role of the Species Survival Plan in Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus conservation



The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan (MWSSP) was established almost 25 years ago. The goals of the MWSSP are to (1) maintain a viable self-sustaining captive population in North America, (2) enhance health and well-being of individuals living in North American zoos and (3) promote conservation of this species through education and field-conservation initiatives. Since its inception, the MWSSP and member institutions have supported studies on nutrition, medical management, behaviour and reproductive biology, and published a husbandry manual, which serves as a guide for captive management of Maned wolves Chrysocyon brachyurus in North and South American zoos. Furthermore, the MWSSP has provided funding for field studies aimed at identifying potential threats to wild populations in range countries, including Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina, as well as for the first Population and Habitat Viability Assessment Workshop for this species. Finally, the MWSSP has played an active role in promoting education and outreach efforts in both the United States and range countries. In this paper, we review and discuss the roles of the MWSSP in ex situ and in situ conservation of the Near Threatened Maned wolf.