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If you see an armadillo in North Carolina, report it, wildlife experts say

May 23, 2019

Armadillos are native to Central and South America, but there have been recent sightings in North Carolina, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Biologists are trying to determine how many of the creatures are in the state and are asking residents to report any sightings of nine-banded armadillos to the commission.

Anyone who spots an armadillo in the wild is encouraged to upload and share their photos via the NC Armadillo project, which launched on May 17.

Users can visit iNaturalist.org to upload photos using their computer or download the free iNaturalist app.

People who want to report observations but do not want to use iNaturalist can send an email to armadillo@ncwildlife.org. The email should include:

According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, armadillos have gradually expanded into the southeastern United States.

The agency received the first report of an armadillo in 2007 in Macon County. In the last 12 years, it has received more than 170 reports in 46 counties.

Armadillos have been spotted in 27 North Carolina counties, according to Colleen Olfenbuttel, the commission’s black bear and furbearer biologist.

“Whether armadillos continue spreading beyond their current range will be largely determined by climate,” said Olfenbuttel.

Since they lack insulation and have to dig for their food, armadillos prefer mild winter temperatures, according to Olfenbuttel, who said the armadillo population here may be growing since North Carolina is experiencing fewer long stretches of below-freezing winters.

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