Effects of change in primary forest cover on armadillo (Cingulata, Mammalia) burrow use in the Central Amazon


  • María Clara Arteaga
  • Eduardo Venticinque



Palabras clave:

Dasypodidae, Brazil, fragmentation, habitat use, mammals


Transformation of primary forest to other vegetation types alters the availability and distribution of resources,
and thus affects their use by species that inhabit the forest. Although armadillos are important earthmover mammals
in the Amazon forest, and their burrows play an important physical and ecological role in the ecosystem, the impact of
loss of primary forest cover on these organisms has been poorly understood. In order to evaluate the effects of change in
the primary forest cover on burrow use by armadillos, we performed 2 censuses in 33 plots within 12 sites of different
vegetation cover characteristics, and recorded burrow density and current use. A total of 109 armadillo burrows were
found; the sites with higher percentages of primary forest cover showed a larger number of active burrows, although
burrow density and the probability of establishing new burrows remained unaffected by this variable. Our results show
that areas with higher quantities of primary forest habitat show more intense use by armadillos, probably due to the
permanence time of individuals. These findings suggest that the viability of armadillo populations, as well as the role
that these animals play within the ecosystem, may be affected in disturbed areas.