Animals should use habitats that increase their chances of survival and reproductive output; thus, information on habitat use can be useful both from an ecological and a conservation perspective. Using global positioning system tracking collars, we studied habitat use by a pair of Chrysocyon brachyurus (maned wolves) living in a cerrado–Atlantic forest transition zone in Brazil. During our study, the female had a litter of pups, and we were able to evaluate how reproduction affected habitat use. To investigate habitat use, we mapped our telemetry fixes onto vegetational and geographical data obtained from satellite images of our study site. We investigated habitat use by maned wolves in relation to vegetation and land cover, proximity to buildings, proximity to roads, elevation, and distance to water sources. Maned wolves showed a strong preference for rocky fields, which are a subhabitat of cerrado, and a strong avoidance of Atlantic rain forest. Maned wolves also were associated significantly and positively with buildings and roads at night, likely because of supplemental feeding and ease of locomotion. Elevation was confounded with habitat type and the location of supplemental feeding; therefore, no firm conclusions could be drawn about this factor. The female remained ≤250 m from water when she was lactating. Although maned wolves can be behaviorally flexible in terms of habitat use, they show a strong preference for open habitats such as cerrado that is especially pronounced during a reproductive phase.
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