Mammalian Biology

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 54–61 | Cite as

Understanding factors affecting the distribution of the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) in South America: Spatial dynamics and environmental drivers

  • Lorena Coelho
  • David RomeroEmail author
  • Diego Queirolo
  • José Carlos Guerrero
Original investigation


The maned wolf is the largest canid in South America, and is currently classified as a near threatened species. Though once widely distributed in open habitats throughout the continent, the species’ current distribution is significantly reduced, especially in the southern part of its range. Species distribution models are useful tools that can reveal the causes contributing to the decline of the species, especially in the southern limit of its global distribution. In this paper, we compared the maned wolf distribution, from known localities for the species, with a set of predictor variables: spatial (longitude and latitude), topoclimatic, land cover and anthropogenic. We modeled the distribution range using favorability function models that combine the probability of the occurrence of an event with the probability of that event occurring at random. We detected that the most favorable areas for the presence of the maned wolf are concentrated in southeastern and central Brazil, south of Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. Our results point to a central distribution nucleus of more favorable conditions for the species, from which it may have dispersed into intermediate or low favorable areas as found in the southernmost part of its range. Spatial models are useful in highlighting which factors affect the distribution of the maned wolf in South America, and use these results to guide conservation measures to be taken to improve its status.


Conservation Distribution modeling Favorability function Multifactor approach Peripheral population reduction 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorena Coelho
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Romero
    • 2
    Email author
  • Diego Queirolo
    • 3
  • José Carlos Guerrero
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratorio Etología, Ecología y EvoluciónInstituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE)MontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Desarrollo Sustentable y Gestión Ambiental del Territorio, Instituto de Ecología y Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  3. 3.Centro Universitario de RiveraUniversidad de la RepúblicaRiveraUruguay

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