Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Due to the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo's inhospitable habitat it has received very little study (5). It is likely to be entirely nocturnal, spending the day in an underground burrow and emerging at dusk to forage for termites and ants, which it probably locates by scent. This species feeding behaviour is likely to be similar to that of its close relative, the northern naked-tailed armadillo (Cabassous centralis), which uses its large, powerful claws to dig into insect colonies living within dead roots or stumps, and employs its long, extensible tongue to probe tunnels within the colony and extract its prey (3). In the wild, naked-tailed armadillos are believed to be solitary, although in captivity individuals will tolerate living in close proximity (3).
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Description

Discovered as recently as 1980 (1), the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo is the smallest of the four species of naked-tailed armadillo (3). Like other members of the family, the upper surface of this species' head, body and limbs is armoured with thick bony plates, separated by flexible bands of skin. The Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo's head is wide, tapering to a short, broad snout. The upperparts are brown or blackish, with a lighter, yellowish band running along the sides, while in contrast, the underparts are a dull, yellowish-grey. The claws of the forefeet are long and powerful, particularly the middle claw, which is especially large, and shaped like a sickle. As its name suggests, the tail of this species is not well-armoured, and only possesses a sparse covering of small, thin plates (3).
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Distribution

Range Description

C. chacoensis has been recorded from the Gran Chaco of western Paraguay and center Argentina (Gardner 2005). It has not been recorded in Bolivia.
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Range

The Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo is found within the Gran Chaco region of western Paraguay and north-western Argentina, with a specimen also recorded from the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil (1).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This largely fossorial species is restricted to chaco-seco (thorn forest) habitats (Meritt 1985). It is not present in cultivated areas. There is little available information on its life history and other biological characteristics.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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The Gran Chaco region comprises a variety of habitats, including forest, savanna, and scrubland (3) (4). While the exact range of habitat types occupied by the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo is unclear, in Paraguay it has been recorded in undisturbed chaco-seco, an arid shrubland, which is almost desert for nine months of the year (5).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Superina, M. & Abba, A.M.

Reviewer/s
Aguero, J., Meritt, D.A. & Rogel, T.

Contributor/s
Meritt, D.A. & Rogel, T.

Justification
Cabassous chacoensis is listed as Near Threatened given an inferred population decline as a result of habitat loss and hunting, which may have approached 20-25% over the past 10 years. It almost qualifies as Threatened under criterion A2cd.

History
  • 2006
    Near Threatened
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Near Threatened
  • 1996
    Data Deficient
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Status

Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1).
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Population

Population
The abundance of C. chacoensis is not known. In general it is rarely sighted.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is threatened by habitat degradation from agricultural activity, subsistence hunting for food by local people, as well as predation by dogs.
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Currently, the main threats to the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo are habitat degradation resulting from agricultural expansion, and subsistence hunting by local people. Due to a lack of population surveys, it is unclear to what degree this species' population is being affected, but over the past decade, declines of between 20 and 25 percent have been proposed (1) (5).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This armadillo species has been recorded in several Argentinean national and provincial parks.
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Conservation

While there are no known conservation initiatives specifically targeting the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo, it has been recorded in several protected areas, including the Parque Nacional Río Pilcomayo, Parque Nacional Copo and Reserva Natural Formosa in Argentina, and the Parque Nacional Defensores del Chaco in Paraguay (1) (5). Despite this protection, detailed study of the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo's population and biology is still required in order to determine whether specific action needs to be taken to conserve this remarkable species (5).
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Wikipedia

Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo

The Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo (Cabassous chacoensis) is a species of armadillo in the family Dasypodidae. It is found in Argentina, Paraguay, and possibly Brazil. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gardner, A. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 97–98. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b Abba, A., Merritt, D., Porini, G. & Members of the IUCN SSC Edentate Specialist Group (2008). Cabassous chacoensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
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