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The maned wolf is certainly a unique animal, with long legs, massive ears, and bright red fur. Many might compare it to a fox, but it’s actually South America’s largest canid species. And not only is the maned wolf elusive — it’s endangered. Researchers working with Rewilding Argentina and Tompkins Conservation have been monitoring the species and have recorded a new burst of hope in the form of three pups.
Why This Matters: One million species across the globe are now threatened with extinction, and each one plays a vital role in its ecosystem. Kristine Tompkins, president of Tompkins Conservation and UN Patron of Protected Areas, explains that knowing more about this species could help protect the ecosystem as a whole. “Wherever species have been lost due to human factors, we need to do all that we can to recover and protect their remaining populations and restore them to the places where they have been lost,” she said. “It promotes climate stability, prevents biodiversity loss, and keeps pandemics at bay.”
The Pups are Alright
To monitor and learn more about the maned wolf, researchers began satellite monitoring of individuals in Iberá Park, Corrientes, Argentina. They attached radio collars to four adult specimens to observe their movements and learn about their reproduction and feeding habits. In early August, Augusto Distel, naturalist and conservation coordinator for the Rincón del Socorro nucleus, discovered three new pups and is now observing the group on a daily basis.
The researchers have set up round-the-clock camera traps that show the family interacting, nursing, and feeding. In addition to being downright adorable, the footage is helping conservation. “This new information can inform conservation measures for the species throughout Argentina,” said Distel. “It is opening the doors to plan the maned wolf’s return.”
Now, viewers can catch a glimpse of the rare species from home, thanks to the footage provided by these dedicated researchers. Watch below:
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