Mammalian Biology

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 138–145 | Cite as

Density and niche segregation of two armadillo species (Xenarthra: Dasypodidae) in the Vale Natural Reserve, Brazil

  • Atilla Colombo FerreguettiEmail author
  • Walfrido M. Tomas
  • Helena G. Bergallo
Original Investigation


We provide the first estimates of density and population size of two sympatric species of armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus and Dasypus novemcinctus) for the Vale Natural Reserve, evaluating how poaching would be affecting their habitat use (i.e. detectability and occupancy probability) and also describing their activity patterns. Abundance and density were estimated using a distance sampling technique. Occupancy, detectability, and activity patterns were assessed using camera-trapping during a one-year period. Estimated population densities were 0.06 individuals per hectare (ind/ha) and 0.05 ind/ha for D. novemcinctus and E. sexcinctus, respectively. Occupancy probability of both species was affected by the distance to forest edge. D. novemcinctus showed a positive relationship with increasing distance from the edge, whereas E. sexcinctus showed an opposite relationship. D. novemcinctus also showed higher occupancy rates in sites closer to a water resource. Additionally, occupancy and detectability of both species were negatively affected by historical poaching intensity in the reserve. Activity patterns varied between species, with D. novemcinctus being mostly nocturnal and E. sexcinctus being diurnal. We conclude that despite the two armadillo species sharing several niche dimensions, they showed spatial and temporal segregation. These differences may be an adaptation to reduce interspecific competition but may also be affected by the need to avoid poaching pressures. This study contributes to increase the knowledge and conservation of these two little-studied species.


Atlantic Forest Camera-trap Distance sampling Dasypus novemcinctus Euphractus sexcinctus 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abba, A.M., Lima, E., Superina, M., 2014. Euphractus sexcinctus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3, (accessed 14.04.15).Google Scholar
  2. Aguiar, J.M., 2004. Species summaries and species discussions In: Fonseca, G., Aguiar, J., Rylands, A., Paglia, A., Chiarello, A., Sechrest, W, (Orgs.). The 2004 Edentate species assessment workshop. Edentata 6, 3–26.Google Scholar
  3. Akaike, H., 1973. Information theory and an extension of the maximum likelihood principle. In: Pretov, B.N., Csaki, F. (Eds.), Second International Symposium on Information Theory. Academiai Kiado, Budapest, pp. 267–281.Google Scholar
  4. Anacleto, T.C.S., Diniz, J.A.F., Vital, M.V.C., 2006. Estimating potential geographic ranges of armadillos (Xenarthra,Dasypodidae) in Brazil under niche-based models, Mammalia 70, 202–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anacleto, T.C.S., Diniz-Filho, J.A.F., 2008. Efeitos da alteracão antrópica do Cerrado sobre a comunidade de tatus (Mammalia, Cingulata, Dasypodidae). In: Reis, N.R., Peracchi, A.L., Santos, G.A.S.D. (Orgs.). Ecologia de Mamíferos. Technical books Editora, Londrina, pp. 55–67.Google Scholar
  6. Begon, M., Towsend, C.R., Harper, J.L., 2006. Ecology: From Individualsto Ecosystems. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.Google Scholar
  7. Bodmer, R.E., Fang, T.G., Moya, L., Gill, R., 1994. Managing wildlife to conserve Amazonian rainforest: population biology and economic considerations of game hunting, Biol. Conserv. 67, 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bodmer, R.E., Penn Junior, J.W., 1997. Manejo da vida silvestre em comunidades na amazônia. In: Bodmer, E.R., Valladares-Pádua, C. (Org.). Manejo e Conservacão de vida silvestre no Brasil. CNPq/Sociedade Civil Mamirauá, Brasília/Belém, pp. 56–67.Google Scholar
  9. Bonato, V., (dissertation) 2002. Ecologia e história natural de tatus no Cerrado de Itirapina, São Paulo. Campinas State University, Campinas, Brazil.Google Scholar
  10. Buckland, S.T., Anderson, D.R., Burnham, K.P., Laake, J.L., Borchers, D.L., Thomas, L., 2001. Introduction to Distance Sampling: Estimating Abundance of Biological Populations. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  11. Burnham, K.P., Anderson, D.R., 2002. Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: A Practical Information and Theoretic Approach, 2nd ed. Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Carter, T.S., Encarnacão, C, 1983. Characteristics and use of burrows by fourspecies of armadillos in Brazil, J. Mammal. 64, 103–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chiarello, A.G., 2000. Influência da caca ilegal sobre mamíferos e aves das matas de tabuleiro do norte do estado do Espírito Santo, Bol. Mus. Biol. Mello Leitão. 11, 229–247.Google Scholar
  14. Cullen Jr., L., Bodmer, R.E., Pádua, C.V., 2000. Effects of hunting in habitat fragments of the Atlantic forests, Brazil, Biol. Conserv. 95, 49–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cuéllar, E., Noss, A., 2004. Mamíferos del Chaco de Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia.Google Scholar
  16. Dirzo, R., Miranda, A.M., 1990. Contemporary neotropical defaunation and forest structure, function and diversity - a sequel to John Terborgh, Conserv. Biol. 42, 444–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eisenberg, J.F., Redford, K.H., 1999. Mammals from the Neotropics. The central Neotropics: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  18. Emmons, L.H., 1990. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals. A Field Guide, 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  19. Encarnacão, CD., (dissertation) 1987. Contribuicão à ecologia dos tatus (Xernathra, Dasypodidae) da Serra da Canastra, Minas Gerais. National Museum, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.Google Scholar
  20. Ferreguetti, A.C., Tomas, W.M., Bergallo, H.G., 2015. Density, occupancy, and activity pattern of twosympatric deer (Mazama) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil, J. Mammal. 96, 132–149, Scholar
  21. Fischer, W.A., (MS dissertation) 1997. Efeitos da BR-262 na mortalidade de verte-brados silvestres: síntese naturalista para a conservacão da região do Pantanal. Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul.Google Scholar
  22. Gardner, A.L., 2007. MagnorderXenarthra. In: Gardner, A.L. (Ed.), Mammals of South America. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 127–176.Google Scholar
  23. Glanz, W.E., 1996. The terrestrial mammal fauna of Barro Colorado Island: censuses and long-term changes. In: Leigh Jr., E.G., Rand, A.S., Windsor, D.M. (Eds.), The Ecology of a Tropical Forest: Seasonal Rhythms and Long-term Changes. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, pp. 455–466.Google Scholar
  24. Hass, A., Rodrigues, F.H.G., Oliveira, T.G., 2003. The Yellow Armadillo, Euphractus sexcinctus, in the North/Northeastern Brazilian Coast, Edentata 5, 46–47.Google Scholar
  25. Hill, K., Padwe, J., Bejyvagi, C, Bepurangi, A., Jakugi, F., Tykuarangi, R., Tukuarangi, T., 1997. Monitoring hunting impact n large vertebrates inthe Mabaracayu reserve, Paraguay, using native research assistants, Conserv. Biol. 11, 1339–1353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Instituto Brasileiro De Geografia (IBGE), 1993. Mapa de Vegetacão do Brasil. Fundacão Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, Rio de Janeiro.Google Scholar
  27. Jesus, R.M., 1987. Mata Atlântica de Linhares: Aspectos Florestais. In: Sema, Iwrb, CVRD (Eds.), Desenvolvimento Econômico e Impacto Ambiental em Áreas de Trópico Úmido Brasileiro - A experiência da CVRD. CVRD, Rio de Janeiro, pp. 35–53.Google Scholar
  28. Karanth, Nichols, K.U., Kumar, J.D., Link, N.S., Hines, W.A., 2004. Tigers and their prey: predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 101, 4854–4858.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Laake, J.L., Buckland, S.T., Anderson, D.R., Burnham, K.P., 1994. Distance User’s Guide. Colorado Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.Google Scholar
  30. Loughry, W.J., McDonough, CM., 1997. Survey of the Xenarthrans inhabiting Poco das Antas Biological Reserve, Edentata 3, 5–7.Google Scholar
  31. Loughry, W.J., McDonough, CM., 1998. Comparisons between populations of nine-banded armadillos in Brazil and United States of America, Rev. Biol. Trop. 46, 1173–1183.Google Scholar
  32. Loughry, W.J., McDonough, CM., 2013. The Nine-Banded Armadillo: A Natural History. University of Oklahoma Press, Oklahoma.Google Scholar
  33. Loughry, J., McDonough, CM., Abba, A.M., 2014. Dasypus novemcinctus, The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3, (accessed 14.04.15).Google Scholar
  34. Loughry, W.J., Superina, M., McDonough, CM., Abba, A.M., 2015. Research on armadillos: a review and prospectus. J. Mammal., 1–10 (online published).Google Scholar
  35. Lund, U., Agostinelli, C, 2007. Circular: Circular Statistics. R Package Version 0.3-8, (accessed 05.09.14).Google Scholar
  36. Mace, G.M., et al., 2000. It’s time to work together and stop duplication of conservation efforts. Nature 405, 393.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. MacKenzie, D.I., Royle, J.A., 2005. Designing occupancy studies: general advice and allocating survey effort, J. Appl. Ecol. 42, 1105–1114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. MacKenzie, D.I., Nichols, J., Royle, J., Pollock, K., Bailey, L, Hines, J., 2006. Occupancy Estimation and Modeling: Inferring Patterns and Dynamics of Species Occurrence. Elsevier Publishing.Google Scholar
  39. Magnusson, W.E., Lima, A.P., Luizão, R., Luizão, F., Costa, F.R.C., De Castilho, C.V., Kinupp,V.P., 2005. RAPELD: a modification of the Gentry method for biodiversity surveys in long-term ecological research sites, Biota Neotrop. 5, 34–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McBee, K., Baker, R.J., 1982. Dasypus novemcinctus, Mamm. Species 162, 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. McDonough, CM., Loughry, W.J., 2008. Behavioral ecology of armadillos. In: Vizcaíno, S.F., Loughry, W.J. (Eds.), The Biology of the Xenarthra. University Press of Florida, pp. 281–293.Google Scholar
  42. McDonough, CM., Delaney, M., Le, P.Q., Blackmore, M.S., Loughry, W.J., 2000. Burrow characteristics and habitat associations of armadillos in Brazil and the United States of Americana, Rev. Biol. Trop. 48, 109–120.Google Scholar
  43. Morris, D.W., 1987. Ecological scale and habitat use, Ecology 68, 362–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nowak, R.M., 1999. Walker’s Mammals of the World, 6th ed. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore/London.Google Scholar
  45. Ojeda, R.A., Borghi, C.E., Roig, V.G., 2002. Mamíferos de Argentina. In: Ceballos, G., Simonetti, J.A. (Eds.), Diversidady conservación de los mamíferos neotropicales. Conabio-UNAM, México, DF, pp. 23–63.Google Scholar
  46. Paglia, A.P., et al., 2012. Annotated Checklist of Brazilian Mammals. Occasional Paper in Conservation Biology, 2nd ed. Conservation International, Arlington.Google Scholar
  47. Peixoto, A.L., Gentry, A., 1990. Diversidade e composicão florística da Mata de Tabuleiro na Reserva Florestal de Linhares (Espírito Santo, Brasil), Rev. Bras. Bot. 13, 19–25.Google Scholar
  48. Peres, C.A., 1990. Effects of hunting on western Amazonian primate communities, Biol. Conserv. 54, 47–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Peres, C.A., 2000. Effects of subsistence hunting on vertebrate community structure in Amazonian Forests, Conserv. Biol. 14, 240–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Powell, G., Leite, P.R., Tobler, M.W., Carrillo-Percastegui, S.E., Mares, R., 2008. An evaluation of camera traps for inventorying large- and medium-sized terrestrial rainforest mammals, Anim. Conserv. 11, 169–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. R Development Core Team, 2008. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, http:// (accessed 15.10.14).Google Scholar
  52. Redford, K.H., 1985. Food habits of armadillos (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae). In: Montgomery, G.G. (Ed.), The Evolution and Ecology of Armadillos, Sloths and Vermilinguas. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp. 429–437.Google Scholar
  53. Redford, K.H., 1992. The empty forest, Bioscience 42, 421–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Redford, K.H., Wetzel, R.M., 1985. Euphractus sexcinctus, Mamm. Species 252, 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rosser, A.M., Mainka, S.A., 2002. Overexploitation and species extinctions, Conserv. Biol. 16, 584–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sanches, R.A., 2001. Caicara communities of the southeastern coast of São Paulo state (Brazil): Traditional activities and conservation policy for the Atlantic Rain Forest, Hum. Ecol. Rev. 8, 52–64.Google Scholar
  57. Santos-Fita, D., Naranjo, E.J., Rangel-Salazar, J.L., 2012. Wildlife uses and hunting patterns in rural communities of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, J. Ethnobiol. Ethnomed. 8, 01–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schaller, G.B., 1983. Mammals and their biomass on a Brazilian ranch, Arq. Zool. 31, 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schoener, T.W., 1974. Resource partitioning. In: Kikkawa, J., Anderson, D.J. (Eds.), Community Ecology: Pattern and Processes. Blackwell, Palo Alto, CA, pp. 91–126.Google Scholar
  60. Silva Junior, J.S., Fernandes, M.E.B., Cerqueira, R., 2001. New records of the yellow armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus) in the state of Maranhão, Brazil (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae), Edentata 4, 18–23.Google Scholar
  61. Souza,J.B., Alves, R.R., 2014. Hunting and wildlife use in an Atlantic Forest remnant of northeastern Brazil, Trop. Conserv. Sci. 7, 145–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Srbek-Araujo, A.C., (thesis) 2013. Conservacão da onca-pintada (Panthera onca Linnaeus, 1758) na Mata Atlântica de tabuleiro do Espírito Santo. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte.Google Scholar
  63. Superina, M., Pagnutti, N., Abba, A.M., 2014. What do we know about armadillos? An analysis of four centuries of knowledge about a group of South American mammals, with emphasis on their conservation, Mamm. Rev. 44, 69–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tabarelli, M., Mantovani, W., Peres, C.A., 1999. Effects of habitat fragmentation on plant guild structure in the montane Atlantic forest of southeastern Brazil, Biol. Conserv. 91, 119–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Trolle, M., 2003. Mammal survey in the southeastern Pantanal, Brazil, Biodivers. Conserv. 12, 823–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Urquiza-Haas, T., Peres, C.A., Dolman, P.M., 2011. Large vertebrate responses to forest cover and hunting pressure in communal landholdings and protected areas of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, Anim. Conserv. 14, 271–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Viera, E.M., 1996. Highway mortality of mammals in central Brazil, Cien. Cult. 48, 270–272.Google Scholar
  68. Wetzel, R.M., Gardner, A.L., Redford, K.H., 2007. Order Cingulata. In: Gardner, A.L. (Ed.), Mammals of South America, Volume 1: Marsupials, Xenarthrans, Shrews and Bats. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 128–156.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atilla Colombo Ferreguetti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Walfrido M. Tomas
    • 2
  • Helena G. Bergallo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EcologyRio de Janeiro State UniversityRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Wildlife LaboratoryEmbrapa PantanalMato Grosso do SulBrazil

Personalised recommendations