Prey availability and diet of maned wolf in Serra da Canastra National Park, southeastern Brazil

  • Queirolo D
  • Motta J
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Abstract

Analysis of 400 scats of the maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus (Illiger, 1815), collected in Serra da Canastra National Park from November 1998 to January 2000 yielded 1688 occurrences of 69 identified food items, 49.5% of which were represented by plant items and 50.5% by animal items. According to the frequency of occurrence analysis, the most important food item categories were wolf's fruit, Parinari obtusifolia (Chrysobalanaceae), small mammals and birds. When the estimated biomass consumption is considered, the animal items became more important (56.8%) than plant items (43.2%). Small mammals were consumed more in the dry season, while miscellaneous fruits and arthropods were consumed mostly in the wet season. Functional response was found only for the category miscellaneous fruits; however, seasonality analysis revealed that wolf's fruit and small mammals were consumed according to their availability in the area. Prey selection was observed for most of the small mammal species, emphasizing a high level of consumption of Necromys lasiurus, Monodelphis sp. and Gracilinanus sp. The finding that most of the diet was composed of fruits and animal items from open areas of the savannah-like Cerrado led us to suggest that the maned wolf spends most of its time preying in this habitat, indicating a need to establish conservation policies for the Cerrado.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biomass
  • Cerrado
  • Diet
  • Maned wolf
  • Prey selection
  • Seasonality

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Authors

  • Diego Queirolo

  • José C. Motta

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