Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

This species is nocturnal in summer when the days are hot, and active during the day in winter. It is territorial with reported home ranges of about 3.4 hectares (2). Like other armadillos it uses its powerful claws to dig burrows and can have up to 20 burrows within its home range which are each 1.5-3 metres long (5). Andean hairy armadillos use these burrows to live in, rear offpsring and to escape from predators (4).  This fascinating animal forages by moving slowly along with the nose in the soil and leaf litter, then digging up material with the fore-claws once food has been sniffed out (4). It has a highly developed sense of smell and feeds on insects, vegetable matter and fruits, birds eggs and even small vertebrates such as snakes and small lizards (4). An armadillo will often dig beneath a decomposing carcass to find a feast of maggots and insects. They have even been known to jump on snakes to kill them with their sharp armour plates (2). Another interesting behaviour of this armadillo is its ability to cross ponds and creeks. It either gulps air until it becomes buoyant and paddles across the water, or sinks to the bottom and strolls across, postponing its next breath until it reaches the other side (5).  This species, like other armadillos, is relatively solitary except during the breeding season of the summer months (5). Courtship involves the male following the female avidly, and mating occurs with the male mounting the female from behind. Male armadillos have one of the longest penises amongst mammals, extending to two-thirds of the body length (4). The gestation time is 2 months, and there may be multiple litters per year. The female usually gives birth to two young in a burrow. They are born with pink soft bodies and are weaned at 50 - 60 days, when their carapace is developed (2). Individuals live for up to 16 years (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Armadillos are one of the oldest groups of mammals. Once thought to be closely related to turtles because of their tough protective carapaces, zoologists now classify them in the mammalian order Xenarthra with anteaters and sloths (4). The Spanish named them 'armadillo' which means 'little plated one', referring to the armour-like covering over much of the body (5). Even the top of the head bears dark plates like a helmet, and the thin tail has a hardened covering. Unlike other armadillos, members of the Chaetophractus genus have light brown hair between the chinks of the armoured scales as well as on its legs and underside (2). These animals are well adapted for digging and foraging in the undergrowth and have short legs, long powerful claws, and pointed snouts (2). Colour varies from light brown to a dull yellow, with males and females looking similar in appearance, though males are generally larger (5).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range Description

This armadillo species is found in Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. Its distribution is poorly known, as it is often confounded with Chaetophractus vellerosus. In Argentina, it has been recorded in localities farther south than its current range (Carrizo et al. 2005), but these records need to be confirmed to exclude the possibility that they are C. vellerosus.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Geographic Range

Chaetophractus nationi is endemic to Bolivia and northern Chile, in the Andes mountain range. (Yensen et al, 1994)

Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

Occurs in Bolivia and northern Chile (1).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Head and body length reaches 220 to 400 mm and the tail length is 90 to 175 mm. The head shield is 60 mm long and 60 mm wide. This armadillo has 18 dorsal bands, 8 of which are movable. (Nowak, 1999) Unlike other armadillos, Chaetophractus nationi has hair between the majority of its sclaes, and is completely covered on its legs and underside. Color varies from yellowish to light brown. As with other Dasypodids, the teeth are not covered in enamel, and grow continuously. Body temperature is regulated somewhat ectothermically, and burrows are used to cool down in the summer. (Yensen et al, 1994)

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average mass: 2150 g.

Average basal metabolic rate: 3.118 W.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This omnivorous species inhabits high altitude grasslands, where it digs its burrows in sandy soils (Redford and Eisenberg 1992, Pérez Zubieta 2008).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Chaetophractus nationi lives in grasslands at high altitudes, in an ecosystem called the Puna. (Montgomery, 1985)

Average elevation: 3500 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate

Terrestrial Biomes: mountains

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Chaetophractus nationi lives exclusively in open high-altitude grasslands (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Chaetophractus nationi is omnivorous, eating some small vertebrates, many insects, and some vegetation. (Greegor 1980)

Animal Foods: birds; mammals; reptiles; eggs; carrion ; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Plant Foods: roots and tubers; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

Primary Diet: omnivore

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Ecosystem Roles

May limit harmful insect populations. (Montgomery 1985)

Ecosystem Impact: soil aeration

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Predation

The bony plates of armour that surround this animal's body serve as protection from predators. (Nixon, 2000)

Known Predators:

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Known predators

Chaetophractus nationi is prey of:
Homo sapiens

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

(Montgomery, 1985)

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
20 (high) years.

Typical lifespan

Status: wild:
12 to 16 years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Observations: Not much is known about the longevity of these animals, but one specimen lived 14 years in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005). Their maximum longevity could be underestimated as detailed studies are lacking.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Chaetophractus nationi is solitary, with males and females only coming together for mating purposes.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

After mating in the fall, females are pregnant for two months before giving birth to a litter of two. After birth, an individual immediately develops epidermal scales that eventually harden and join to form armor plates. Each infant is fully dependent on its mother until weaning, which occurs at about 50 days. Young rely heavily on their mothers for almost a month until they develop adult teeth and begin to forage. Sexual maturity is reached at about nine months. (Grzimek, 1990)

Breeding season: Fall

Average number of offspring: 2.

Average gestation period: 2 months.

Average weaning age: 50 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 9 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 9 months.

Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External )

Average number of offspring: 1.5.

The female is solely responsible for parental care in this species.

Parental Investment: female parental care

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2acd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

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

Reviewer/s
Bermúdez Larrazabal, L. & Perez Zubieta, J.

Contributor/s
Vizcaíno, S.

Justification
Chaetophractus nationi is listed as Vulnerable because data from Bolivia suggest that its populations have experienced a decline exceeding 30% over the last 10 years, largely due to high rates of exploitation. This species is probably affected by hunting and habitat degradation over its entire range, but the impact of these threats in other range countries than Bolivia is unknown due to a lack of field studies.

History
  • 2006
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Vulnerable
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Chaetophractus nationi is so endangered that CITES has issued a no import/export policy for trade of this species. (1996 IUCN Red List)

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: appendix ii

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU A1d) by the IUCN Red List 2003 (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
Peredo (1999) estimated a total population of 13,000 individuals in an area of 340 km². The wild populations are decreasing.

Population Trend
Decreasing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
This species is intensively harvested commercially for its meat and carapace, including for charangos (musical instrument) and also handicrafts (Romero-Muñoz and Pérez-Zubieta 2008). Cáceres (1995) estimated 2000 individuals harvested each year in Bolivia. It also suffers habitat loss from sand excavation for concrete production (Peredo 1999) and agricultural activities (Ríos and Rocha 2002).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The hard outer covering of the Andean hairy armadillo is good protection from predators, but humans can easily catch and kill them (2). They are hunted and traded for food and their shell, and are also persecuted for their disruptive burrowing on agricultural land (1). Habitat loss from deforestation and agricultural development is also an increasing threat (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. It is found in one protected area in Bolivia (Sajama National Park). Further systematic studies for this species are needed, most specifically, to determine if it is a distinct species, or a high-altitude subspecies of Chaetophractus vellerosus (Wetzel 1985, Gardner 2005).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

International trade of the Andean hairy armadillo is forbidden by its listing on Appendix II of the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) (3). It is hoped that this measure will reduce its trade and therefore the extent to which it is hunted. There are no conservation measures in place to protect this fascinating animal in its natural habitat, however, and habitat loss is expected to continue as Peru and Bolivia become more populated and developed (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

In Bolivia and Chile, Andean Hairy Armadillos have been used for meat, musical instruments, decorations, good luck charms, and medicine for rheumatism. (Yensen et al, 1994)

Positive Impacts: food ; source of medicine or drug

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Andean hairy armadillo

The Andean hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus nationi) is an armadillo present in Bolivia, in the region of the Puna, the departments of Oruro, La Paz, and Cochabamba (Gardner, 1993). Nowark (1991) describes it as distributed in Bolivia and northern Chile. A recent publication of Pacheco (1995) also locates the species in Peru, basically in Puno Region. It is also thought to be present in northern Argentina.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Abba, A., Gomez, H. & Members of the IUCN SSC Edentate Specialist Group (2008). Chaetophractus nationi. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!