IUCN Species of the Day: Giant Armadillo
Photo credit: Carly Vynne
The Giant Armadillo, Priodontes maximus, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is the largest living armadillo species, and occurs east of the Andes in South America, from northern Venezuela and the Guianas south to Paraguay, southern Brazil and northern Argentina.
Although still widespread, the Giant Armadillo is patchily distributed and locally rare, and its population is undergoing a decline. The main threat to the species is hunting for its meat, which is compounded by habitat loss from deforestation. Giant Armadillos are also illegally caught to be sold to animal collectors on the black market, but usually die during transport or whilst in captivity.
The Giant Armadillo occurs in a number of protected areas, and international trade in the species is banned by its listing on Appendix I of CITES. However, illegal hunting continues throughout its range, and measures need to be taken both to decrease hunting pressure and to protect the habitat of this unique mammal.
The Giant Armadillo is a relative of the pangolin. Asian pangolin species are rapidly approaching extinction, as they are now poached at a rate of at least one every hour, to supply a demand that predominantly comes from China and Vietnam. Read more about the imperiled pangolins here.
Geographic Region of the Giant Armadillo
To learn more about Giant Armadillo, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.