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Latest Field News 20/02/2013

Rare Giant Armadillo Birth Recorded

The birth of a rare giant armadillo has been recorded for the first time in Brazil.

Researchers studying the mysterious animals spotted this four-week-old armadillo emerging from its burrow with its mother thanks to automated camera traps provided by a number of conservation organisations including Chester Zoo.

Dr Arnaud Desbiez, co-ordinator of the Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project said: "Documenting the birth of a giant armadillo is an exciting step forward to helping us better understand the biology and reproduction of this cryptic species and ultimately help us conserve it."

Since July 2010, the Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project has successfully established the first long-term ecological study of giant armadillos in the Brazilian Pantanal.

The main goal of the project is to investigate the ecology and biology of the species and understand its function in the ecosystem using radio transmitters, camera traps, burrow surveys, resource monitoring, resource mapping and interviews.

Currently there is virtually no information on giant armadillo reproduction. The species has never bred in captivity and no observations have ever been made in the wild.

Acquiring reproductive information on the species is crucial to understanding its population dynamics and to plan for any type of conservation of the species, which is why this remarkable footage is such a brilliant sight to see!

Image © Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project Baia das Pedras

Footage © Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project

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