11 02/11/2012

Armadillo News

A few months back we showed you some amazing footage of armadillos from one of our supported projects.

We’ve just heard from the project team and they’re getting some fantastic results.

Despite a few months of no sightings, three armadillos were captured and tagged within days of each other.

Project leader Arnaud sent us this blog recently:

“The best part of this project is that it feels we make new discoveries each day. One night we observed one of the giant armadillos make 5 feeding holes over 80 cm deep in less than 15 minutes.

"Even armed with a shovel we would have a hard time doing that! Or what about the speed at which they blast through termite mounds? These animals are just amazingly powerful. We are monitoring termite mounds predated by giant armadillos to see if they recover or not.

"One night we observed one of our armadillos blasting a termite mound and set a camera the next morning. That night the armadillo returned to the mound and we got some amazing pictures of the animal – see the photo below.

"It actually climbed on the termite mound and ripped out the chimneys. These chimneys are like pure cement. We could never make them budge unless we used a sledge hammer.

"Another exciting behaviour we registered was our very first giant armadillo 'ROMANCE'.

"For the first time we have evidence of giant armadillos sharing a burrow. Isabelle, a beautiful adult female we have been monitoring since November 2011, went in a burrow she had dug a few days before.

"A little over 30 minutes later, Zezinho, an adult male, showed up and after some very “macho” digging around the entrance he went in with her. Both of them returned for two nights.

"There is no real information on giant armadillo reproductive behaviour, gestation period or even number of young. It is estimated that the gestation period could be around 4 months.

"Zezinho and Isabelle were registered together on the 10th of June for the first time. Maybe in my next update I will be sending you information on the birth of giant armadillos”

Of course, here at Act for Wildlife we can't wait for Arnaud's next update and will share it wilth you as soon as we can.