Often elusive and supremely challenging to study, many xenarthran species are virtually unknown in the wild — yet the extensive degradation of habitats throughout South and Central America has caused sharp declines in virtually every xenarthran population.
Apart from being among the most unusual of Neotropical creatures, the xenarthrans are together one of the most ancient groups of mammals — perhaps descendants of the earliest radiation of mammalian species. Despite their strange specializations and wild divergence of body forms, collectively xenarthrans embody a unique living history of mammalian evolution. And this — together with the important roles they play in a diversity of ecosystems across the continent — compels us to fight on their behalf, before the rising tides of potential extinction have the chance to carry them away.
Here we share information on xenarthrans and the IUCN/SSC Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo Specialist Group with all those who care about the lives and fate of these ancient mammals. Many of them have already suffered great losses from fierce overhunting and the ceaseless destruction of their habitats. Many are severely threatened — and too many will soon be in danger of extinction if we do not confront the gathering threats which face them.
This website is intended for everyone with an interest in anteaters, sloths and armadillos — students, researchers, conservationists, and anyone who finds a quirky wonder in these unique and irreplaceable beings.