Behavioral responses of maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus, Canidae) to different categories of environmental enrichment stimuli and their implications for successful reintroduction

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Carlyle Mendes Coelho, Cristiano Schetini de Azevedo, Robert John Young
Zoo Biology
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The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus, Illiger, 1815, Canidae) is a threatened species that inhabits the cerrados of Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Captive maned wolves could be potentially used in reintroduction programs for species conservation; however, it is necessary that their behavior and cognitive abilities are conserved. Environmental enrichment is a tool used to stimulate captive animals and maintain a natural behavioral repertoire. To compare the variation of captive maned wolves’ behavioral responses to environmental enrichment, we studied three maned wolves held by Belo Horizonte Zoo, Brazil. Foraging, interspecific, and intraspecific stimuli were offered to the animals and their responses were compared with a baseline and postenrichment treatments. The test was used to help in choosing which one of the three individuals would participate in a reintroduction project. The results showed that stimuli type did influence the animal’s responses, and that individually wolves responded differently to foraging, interspecific, and intraspecific enrichment items (P80.05 for some behaviors in each enrichment category). The individual’s personality seemed to influence their behavioral responses, with animals showing bold and shy responses, and this trait should be considered during decision makings for reintroduction. Zoo Biol 31:453–469, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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