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1 April 2009 Armadillo Habitat Selection in Southwestern Georgia
Daniel J. Gammons, Michael T. Mengak, L. Mike Conner
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Nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) have undergone a dramatic range expansion within the last 150 years, yet few quantitative data are available describing their habitat selection patterns, and only a single population has received the vast majority of research attention in general. Because armadillos may negatively impact native fauna, improved knowledge of their habitat selection patterns is needed to better understand their ecology and improve estimates of their future distribution. We used radiotelemetry to monitor 31 armadillos at a site in southwestern Georgia during 2005–2006. Males and females selected habitats similarly. Armadillos were located farther than expected from mature pine habitats within their home ranges, but individual variation in this measure was high, which we suspect may be a fire-dependent response. Armadillos did not prefer hardwood hammocks, as has been reported for other populations, and we suspect this surprising result may have gone undetected had we not used radiotelemetry. Overall, armadillos did not exhibit much evidence of habitat selection at all. It therefore appears that factors other than habitat type, such as temperature and precipitation, may be more important in determining future armadillo distributions and negative impacts may be more widespread than previously thought.

Daniel J. Gammons, Michael T. Mengak, and L. Mike Conner "Armadillo Habitat Selection in Southwestern Georgia," Journal of Mammalogy 90(2), 356-362, (1 April 2009).
Received: 6 November 2007; Accepted: 1 August 2008; Published: 1 April 2009

Dasypus novemcinctus
fire-managed habitat
habitat selection
nonindigenous species
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