ARMADILLOS
Pink fairy armadillo
Chlamyphorus truncatus
RANGE

C. truncatus is endemic to central Argentina, where it is found in the provinces of Buenos Aires (southern part only), Catamarca, Córdoba, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Río Negro, San Juan, and San Luis. It ranges from sea level up to 1,500 m asl.


DESCRIPTION
HABITAT

The pink fairy armadillo can be found in dry grassland and sandy plains with shrubby vegetation.

BIOLOGY

This poorly known, nocturnal, fossorial species may be relatively rare. Nothing is known about its population size or trend, but a reduction in sightings has been reported (Superina, 2006). The populations are fragmented; records are very isolated from each other. The species seems to have very specific habitat requirements.

THREATS

Habitat conversion due to agriculture (plowing of fields) and cattle ranching (compaction of soil) are the predominant threats this species is facing, but predation by domestic cats and dogs is also contributing to its decline.

CONSERVATION

C. truncatus is listed as Data Deficient as there is little information on its population status, and its biology and ecology are poorly known. Throughout its range there is extensive habitat degradation, especially from cattle, but the actual effect on the populations is not well understood. The pink fairy armadillo remains a priority for further survey work, as the availability of additional information may well show that the species requires listing as Near Threatened or in a threatened category.
It is present in a number of protected areas, including the National Parks Lihué Calel and Talampaya, and the provincial reserves Telteca and Ñacuñán in Mendoza. There is national and provincial legislation specifically in place for its protection, such as Provincial Law 6,599 in Mendoza. Further studies into the population status, demography and ecology of this species are needed.

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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