Support Wild Maned Wolf Conservation!

Support Wild Maned
Wolf Conservation!


The Natural Science Center & Animal Discovery of Greensboro is home to two adult maned wolves, Lana and Nazca. Maned wolves are an endangered member of the canine family and are from South America. They resemble large foxes and are very beautiful animals. In 2008, the Natural Science Center, with support from the Brooks Family and Duke Energy, built a state-of-the-art exhibit and holding area in the hopes that we would be approved to receive a breeding pair of maned wolves in the future.

The AZA Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP®) was impressed with our exhibit and decided to send us two sister wolves to start so that the staff could gain experience with the species before participating in the breeding program. Luna and Nena arrived from Little Rock, AR and the Jean and Taylor Brooks Family Maned Wolf Conservation Center and Duke Energy Solar Solutions Center opened in April 11th, 2008. The sisters' genes are currently more represented in the captive population than other maned wolves' so the SSP® then decided to swap them with a young breeding pair. In fall 2009, Lana arrived from White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, FL. and Nazca arrived from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute at Front Royal, VA.

This blog will follow the story of the 2010/2011 Reproductive Season for Lana & Nazca. It will also provide information on the conservation program and about maned wolves as a species. Use the Archive at the right of this page to see each post. We hope you enjoy as we share this wonderful story!

We want to thank the Maned Wolf SSP® Species Coordinator, Melissa Rodden, at SCBI and all the MWSSP® advisers for providing us with most of the maned wolf information found in this blog.

The Jean and Taylor Brooks Family Maned Wolf Conservation Center "was given in loving memory of Drs. Jean and Taylor Brooks, by Jim Brooks, to honor their lives and lifelong appreciation for and commitment to the natural world; and also in memory of his godmother Katherine Pierce, co-founder of the Natural Science Center, 1957. This habitat was created with the hope that it will serve to inspire and motivate each of us to be conscious stewards of our planet, its resources and all its creatures."

About the author: Kim Clark has been an animal keeper and educator at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro since the opening of Animal Discovery in 2007. She hopes that the Natural Science Center's maned wolf breeding program, as well as this blog, will make a significant difference in maned wolf conservation efforts worldwide. Most of the photos in this blog were taken by zookeepers Kim Clark and Amber Walker.

December 22nd, 2010

The two maned wolves at Animal Discovery were matched together by the MWSSP® to promote genetic diversity. The female wolf, Lana, has a very laid back, calm, and playful personality. She was raised by her parents, but also had enough contact with her keepers growing up to make her more comfortable around human caretakers as well. We hope that those things will make her an excellent zoo mother if the opportunity arises. The male wolf, Nazca, is fairly calm, but likes to "talk" and make sure that we know that he only does what he wants to. Both Lana and Nazca are doing well in our operant conditioning training program. This training program allows us to more easily manage the wolves and monitor their health, while reducing any stress that they may experience. Using positive reinforcement, we are able to get the wolves to choose to cooperate with us to earn a treat (mice or fish). During Lana's possible pregnancy, we will ask her to step up onto a scale for a weekly weight. In order to get an accurate weight, she must stand completely on the scale and hold "still" long enough for the scale to register a solid reading. 

Today, Lana stepped up onto the scale, but didn't stay on it long enough for a solid reading. We did, however, take a photo of her from the side so that we can eventually look for changes in her body. Again, it is hard to confirm a pregnancy using weights and baby bumps, but we will try to use them as clues nonetheless. We are able to separate Nazca into a different holding area while we weigh Lana to avoid interference or competition.