Abstract The IUCN/SSC Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo Specialist Group re-assessed the conservation status of the four extant anteater species in May 2010. Three species maintained their Least Concern status. Myrmecophaga tridactyla was listed as Vulnerable due to an estimated reduction in population size of at least 30%. The isolated population of Cyclopes didactylus that inhabits the Atlantic forest of coastal northeastern Brazil was assessed separately for the first time due to its separation from the main population by over 1000 km. Although its habitat has been severely reduced, it was classified as Data Deficient due to the lack of scientific data. The main threats to the long-term survival of anteaters is habitat degradation and fragmentation, wildfires, traffic accidents, hunting, and their capture for illegal trade and maintenance as pets. Education programs are in place for three species. Basic questions on the taxonomy, population dynamics, life history, and how hunting and extraction of wild ind...
Abstract The conservation status of all sloth species was reassessed in May and June 2010 by the IUCN/SSC Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo Specialist Group. Four out of six species were categorized as Least Concern. Two sloths were classified in a threatened category according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; Bradypus torquatus was listed as Vulnerable, and Bradypus pygmaeus as Critically Endangered. Sloths are mainly threatened by hunting, illegal pet trade, and by habitat degradation and fragmentation. According to the 2010 assessment, the taxonomy of all six species requires further research. Data on their population size, range, and dynamics, as well as their life history, is still insufficient.
Abstract The conservation status of the 21 extant armadillo species was re-assessed by specialists of the IUCN/SSC Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo Specialist Group between December 2009 and May 2010. Information on their geographic range, population size and status, habitat and ecology, threats, and existing conservation measures was collected from the literature and personal communications. Four armadillo species were classified as Vulnerable, four as Near Threatened, and four were categorized as Data Deficient. Less than half of all armadillo species were listed as Least Concern. Virtually all assessed species are affected by hunting as well as habitat fragmentation and degradation. The populations of only two species are thought to be increasing, while those of at least seven species are in decline. Much work is still needed to ensure the long-term survival of all species. Most armadillo species occur in at least one protected area, but other conservation actions are scarce.
Abstract Armadillo burrows are important structures for shelter and reproduction, and may be used as a source of information in ecological studies. In regions where several species coexist, it is necessary to know if the burrow measures are useful for species identification. We investigated whether burrow entrance morphometry is useful for differentiating four armadillo species in the central Amazon and evaluated whether entrance size was related to site topography. We registered entrance height and width, and entrance tunnel angle for each burrow encountered in 61 plots. We estimated the elevation and mean declination of the terrain at each burrow site. We measured the entrances of 188 armadillo burrows. Mean entrance height was 19.15 ± 5.04 cm and mean width 22.76 ± 5.85 cm. These variables were positively correlated and therefore not useful to distinguish individual species. Burrow size was not related to site topography. Burrows with similar dimensions may be built by species of similar size or by ind... Resumen Las cuevas que los armadillos construyen son importantes estructuras de refugio y sitio de reproducción, y por ello pueden servir como fuente de información en estudios ecológicos. Sin embargo, en áreas donde varias especies coexisten es indispensable determinar si la morfometría de estas estructuras es útil para su identificación individual. Nuestro objetivo fue investigar si las medidas de las entradas de las cuevas permiten la identificación de las cuatro especies de armadillo que ocurren en la Amazonía Central, evaluando también si el tamaño de las entradas está relacionado con las características topográficas del terreno. En 61 parcelas, registramos la altura y el ancho de las entradas y el ángulo de excavación de las cuevas y estimamos la altitud e inclinación media del terreno donde fueron construidas. Medimos 188 cuevas, con una altura media de las entradas de 19,15 ± 5,04 cm y un ancho medio de 22,76 ± 5,85 cm. Estas variables mostraron una correlación positiva entre si y no fueron útiles...
Abstract Armadillos represent the most diverse family of xenarthrans. Although many studies have been done on these mammals, several topics, such as their local distribution, natural history, behavioral ecology and conservation, remain poorly known. Chaetophractus villosus and Zaedyus pichiy are the most common armadillos in extra-Andean Patagonia, a vast area in southern Argentina and Chile that encompasses different ecosystems and has been modified by human activities, mainly by sheep grazing. In this work we present new data on the distribution, natural history, conservation, and ecology of C. villosus and Z. pichiy from central Patagonia (Chubut and Río Negro provinces, Argentina). We registered 60 localities for C. villosus and 35 for Z. pichiy that confirm their presence in wide sectors of central Patagonia. Furthermore, we confirmed that these two armadillo species suffer high rates of mortality due to their use as a protein source, hunting by dogs, road traffic, and poisoning, among others. We con...
Abstract The ability to swim has been well documented in many species of the order Xenarthra but the literature implies that wild Tamandua anteaters avoid the water. On 26 January 2010, while driving a boat across the Panama Canal (9°10′40″N, 79°50′01″W), the authors witnessed an adult T. mexicana swimming 120 m offshore, in a straight line towards Barro Colorado Island, still 280 m away. The tamandua was swimming without any difficulty and its choice of crossing the canal at a very narrow point suggests that the animal had knowledge of the topography. It is very likely that other crossing points exist and that there is regular exchange between populations of tamandúas living on the mainland and the island, as is the case with other mammals.
Abstract Monthly field surveys were carried out from February to September 2004 to study behavioral and ecological aspects of Bradypus variegatus in a tropical dry forest fragment on “El Ceibal”, Santa Catalina, Bolívar, Colombia. The study included samples collected during the dry and wet seasons. Scan sampling was used to record B. variegatus activities (feeding, resting, moving, grooming, and surveillance). Plant species utilized for these activities were identified. Sloths spent most of their time resting (56%), followed by moving (23%), surveillance (10%), grooming (8%), and feeding (3%). Generally, sloths were found on trees with heights from 9 to 32 m, with canopy coverage of 9 to 364 m2 and diameter at chest height from 10 to 44.2 cm. Individuals were usually found in the tree canopy. Cavanillesia platanifolia (Bombacaceae), Guazuma umbilifolia and G. tomentosa (Sterculiaceae) were used as food sources.
Abstract The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is the largest extant representative of the order Cingulata. Information on the parasites and diseases affecting this species is scarce. Four female and one male ticks were collected from two wild-caught, adult giant armadillos from the northern Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil. All of them were identified as Amblyomma cajennense. This is the first report of A. cajennense in giant armadillos. Considering the low host specificity of this ixodid tick that may act as vector of pathogens, and the sustained encroachment of domestic animals into wildlife habitat, the risk of disease transmission from cattle to this threatened armadillo should be evaluated.
Abstract Giant anteaters and southern tamanduas are often sympatric throughout their range and are both found in the Pantanal wetland. Density, habitat use, selection, and habitat overlap between both species were estimated in the central region of the Brazilian Pantanal. A total of 2,174 km of transects were walked through three different landscapes and five different habitat types. Using strip transect methods, densities of giant anteaters in the study area were estimated at 0.15 individuals/km2, and 0.34 individuals/km2 for southern tamanduas. Densities of both species were highest in forest landscapes. Southern tamanduas significantly selected the forest edge habitat. Scrub grasslands had the highest selection ratio for giant anteaters. Results from this study do not indicate that the two species partition habitat. Deforestation in the Pantanal is predicted to be detrimental to both species of anteaters.
One of the main problems in keeping lesser anteaters (Tamandua mexicana) in captivity is the formulation of an appropriate artificial diet. At "Miguel Alvarez del Toro" Zoo (ZooMAT), Chiapas, Mexico, the lesser anteaters are fed with a mixture of chicken, orange juice, hard-boiled egg, vitamins, minerals, formic acid, and vinegar. Weak animals are sometimes allowed to naturally feed on termite mounds. The objective of this study was to determine the nutritional value of the diet used at ZooMAT and compare it with the nutritional requirements for this species. Dry matter, fat, ash, crude fiber, and protein content of the mixture offered daily to the lesser anteaters were analyzed. The artificial diet covers the protein and energetic needs, while fiber contents are low. All lesser anteaters should be given access to termite mounds to increase fiber consumption. Furthermore, the change to a commercial diet for insectivores should be considered.
Abstract We describe interactions between three individuals of Brazilian three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes tricinctus) that provide evidence of the reproductive behavior and mating strategies of this poorly-known species. Our observations suggest that this species is territorial and that males compete for access to reproductively active females. Resumo No presente trabalho, uma observação de interação entre três indivíduos de tatu-bola (Tolypeutes tricinctus) gera evidências sobre o comportamento sexual e estratégias de acasalamento desta espécie pouco conhecida. Há fortes evidências de que esta espécie seja territorial e de que os machos competem pelo acesso às fêmeas em condição reprodutiva.