June 21, 2021
Armadillos in Virginia? Often associated with the southwestern United States, the range of the Nine-banded armadillo ( ) has been expanding into the southern and midwestern U.S. since the mid-1800s. In an article recently published in the Southeastern Naturalist, VMNH Curator of Mammals Dr. Nancy Moncrief, along with colleagues Michael Fies and Seth Thompson, both of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR), document recent evidence of armadillos in southwestern Virginia from verified photographs submitted to VDWR and voucher specimens deposited into the mammal collection of the museum. These recently collected and observed armadillos are likely dispersers from expanding populations in eastern Kentucky and eastern Tennessee.
"Armadillos have really increased their range and numbers in eastern Tennessee over the past ten years or so," said Moncrief. "We think the animals we're seeing in Virginia are mostly coming up from Tennessee. Armadillos like to forage in wooded areas adjacent to rivers and streams, and we think they're following waterways up from Tennessee."
In their research article "Recent Records and Range Expansion of (Nine-banded Armadillo) in Virginia", Dr. Moncrief and her colleagues provide a foundation for future investigations into the distribution and abundance of armadillos here in Virginia.
To read the full article online, please visit Dr. Moncrief's webpage on the VMNH website at: www.vmnh.net/research-collections/research-areas/nancy-moncrief.
*Image provided by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources via a contributed photo