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Mastozoología neotropical

versão impressa ISSN 0327-9383versão On-line ISSN 1666-0536


QUIROGA, Verónica A et al. The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) in the Argentine Chaco. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2017, vol.24, n.1, pp.163-175. ISSN 0327-9383.

The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is a difficult species to study because of low population densities, combined with nocturnal and fossorial habits. No systematic population studies have been undertaken to date in Argentina. Our objectives were to evaluate the species’ presence, relative abundance, and temporal activity patterns across five locations with different levels of human disturbance and legal protection in the Argentine Chaco. Between June 2006 and January 2014, we completed 10 surveys, using camera trap and / or track plots, searches for burrows and tracks, and observations by local people and park rangers. We used camera trap records to determine presence, relative abundance (records / 100 camera days) and activity patterns. We only recorded the species at three locations: Copo National Park, Aborigen Reserve and La Fidelidad Resource Reserve. At the Aborigen Reserve we documented burrows and tracks but obtained no photographs. At Copo and La Fidelidad we estimated relative abundance at 0.08 and 0.40 records per 100 camera days, respectively. We did not record giant armadillos near the edges of La Fidelidad, nor in the two locations with greater human disturbance. Camera trap records indicate that giant armadillos in the Argentine Chaco are strongly nocturnal. The population status of giant armadillos in Argentina is a matter of concern. With few or no records at other study locations, La Fidelidad may harbor one of the few relict populations of giant armadillos in the Argentine Chaco.

Palavras-chave : Camera traps; Conservation; El Impenetrable National Park; Relative abundance.

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