The Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus is the largest canid of South America and is considered Near Threatened by IUCN. Annual studbook questionnaires were sent to 62 institutions in Brazil, and data were obtained for 932 animals (422.406.104) from 1969 to 2006. The historical trend has shown that the Brazilian captive population has progressed towards a maximum size plateau of 140 individuals; several demographic parameters indicated a poor overall breeding success in the population (only 14% of all the potential founders have effectively bred, mean breeding population each year was 18%), low gene flow (only 22% of the animals were transferred between institutions), high infant mortality (79% of all captive-born cubs die within their first year) and poor management of over-represented individuals (20% of the breeding animals had ten or more cubs). A high influx of wild-caught animals was noted (median 12 captures year−1), with most being captured in the economically developed south-eastern region. It is concluded that the captive population is demographically unstable and highly dependent on the influx of wild-caught animals. Broader collaborations with field conservationists and paired research programmes are advised to maximize future ex situ contribution to the conservation of Maned wolf in Brazil.