ARMADILLOS
Southern long-nosed armadillo
Dasypus hybridus
RANGE

D. hybridus is found in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil. It occurs as far south as the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina (Abba, 2008). The distribution is more restricted than depicted by Redford and Eisenberg (1992) and Wetzel (1985), as localities in the west near the Andes are based on incorrectly identified individuals. The exact northern limit of its range is uncertain due to its morphological similarity to D. septemcinctus. It ranges from sea level up to 2,000 m asl.


DESCRIPTION
HABITAT

D. hybridus is typically found in the grasslands and pampas of northern and central Argentina (Abba et al., 2007; Abba, 2008; Abba and Cassini, 2008). It is also present, but less common, in woodland and forest habitats. It can be found in some degraded habitats (arable land, pastureland and plantations). Agricultural activities and cattle ranching are heavily modifying the habitat of this species.

BIOLOGY

Males and females reach maturity at one year of age, and the female gives birth to one yearly litter of six to twelve identical (monozygotic) young. Gestation length is 120 days including diapause.
The southern long-nosed armadillo was previously common (although there are no population density estimates available), but it is sensitive to habitat loss through urbanization, and agricultural expansion has meant that populations are declining or absent over much of its former range (Abba et al., 2007). It remains a common species in parts of its range (e.g., the province of Buenos Aires; Abba, 2008).

THREATS

D. hybridus is threatened by habitat loss through agriculture and urbanization, accidental mortality on roads, direct hunting for food, and predation by dogs (Abba et al., 2007; Abba, 2008).

CONSERVATION

D. hybridus is listed as Near Threatened, as it is believed to have undergone a decline on the order of 20-25% over the past 10 years due to severe habitat loss and hunting throughout its range. The species was previously more widespread and locally more common (over 30 years ago). It almost qualifies as Threatened under criterion A2cd.
The southern long-nosed armadillo has been recorded in a few protected areas, such as the National Parks Campos del Tuyú, El Palmar and Río Pilcomayo. It is considered a conservation priority species in Uruguay (E. Gonzalez, pers. comm., 2010).

REFERENCES

Additional information and a complete list of references can be found in: Abba, A.M. and M. Superina (2010): The 2009/2010 Armadillo Red List Assessment. Edentata 11(2): 135-184. This article is available here.

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