Animal Info - Brazilian Three-banded Armadillo

(Other Names: Tatu-Bola, Un Armadillo)

Tolypeutes tricinctus

Status: Vulnerable


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Habitat, Diet, Behavior)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: Brazilian Three-banded Armadillo (85 Kb JPEG) (Armad. Online)Related Species - Southern Three-Banded Armadillo (Tolypeutes matacus) (40 Kb JPEG) (Terrambiente)

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo is found in dry, open country. It is believed to feed mainly on termites, but it may also eat other invertebrates and fruit. It obtains its insect prey by probing into the ground, under bark, and into nests with its powerful forelegs and claws.

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo occurs in central and northeastern Brazil. This armadillo has probably disappeared over much of its range, and it occurs at very low population densities. Its population has declined more than 30% in recent years.

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo is easily captured and is hunted for food. Its habitat is naturally fragmented and threatened by agricultural development, cutting for charcoal and mining.


Tidbits

*** The Brazilian three-banded armadillo and its close relative Tolypeutes matacus are the only two armadillos that can completely enclose themselves by rolling into a ball. There is considerable space in its shell into which it can fit its head, legs, and tail when it rolls up.

*** A newborn member of the genus Tolypeutes is a miniature adult. At birth the baby is capable of coordinated movements, including walking and rolling itself into a ball. (Nowak & Paradiso 1983)


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

  • 1960's - 1980's: Indeterminate
  • 1994: Endangered
  • 1996 - 2004: Vulnerable (Criteria: A2bc) (Population Trend: Decreasing) (IUCN 2004)
  • 2006: Vulnerable (Criteria: A2bc) (Population Trend: Decreasing) (IUCN 2006) 

Countries Where the Brazilian Three-banded Armadillo Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Brazil (IUCN 2004).

History of Distribution:

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo occurs in central and northeastern Brazil. It has been recorded from the states of Bahia, Ceará, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, Piaui, Mato Grosso (extreme east central), Goias, the Federal District, Minas Gerais (extreme northwest), Tocantins. Paraiba and Rio Grande do Norte. The Brazilian three-banded armadillo has probably disappeared over much of its range, and it occurs at very low population densities. The Brazilian three-banded armadillo is estimated to have experienced a population decline of more than 30% over the last 10 - 12 years. (IUCN 2006)

Distribution Map (15 Kb) (InfoNatura)

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo is easily captured and is hunted for food. Its habitat is naturally fragmented and threatened by agricultural development, cutting for charcoal and mining for the underlying calcareous deposits. (Nowak 1999)

Over the last 10 - 12 years, the Brazilian three-banded armadillo has declined due to heavy hunting, range loss, and habitat loss and degradation (IUCN 2006).


Data on Biology and Ecology

Habitat:

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo mainly occurs in caatinga habitat, but it is also found in the eastern parts of cerrado habitat (IUCN 2006).

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo occurs in the Cerrado Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl. 2005).

Diet:

Like many other armadillos, it is believed to feed mainly on termites, but it may also eat other invertebrates and fruit.

Behavior:

It obtains its insect prey by probing into the ground, under bark, and into nests with its powerful forelegs and claws.


References

Armad. Online, Burton & Pearson 1987, Cons. Intl. 2005, InfoNatura, IUCN 1969, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, IUCN 2006, Nowak 1999, Nowak & Paradiso 1983, Terrambiente


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Last modified: May 21, 2006;

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