Cabassous centralis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cabassous centralis
Species Authority: (Miller, 1899)
Common Name/s:
English Northern Naked-tailed Armadillo
Spanish Armadillo Cola de Trapo, Armadillo de Cola Desnuda de Centro América, Tatú de Rabo Molle
French Tatou
Taxonomic Notes: The wide range of C. centralis might be obscuring the presence of locally distributed forms that may constitute separate species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-12-11
Assessor/s: Superina, M. Abba, A. M.
Reviewer/s: Tirira, D., Díaz-N. & J.
Cabassous centralis is listed as Data Deficient due to limited knowledge on the current status of extant populations and a lack of available information on the impacts of habitat loss and other threats. Habitat destruction is, however, advancing at a fast pace throughout the range of C. centralis, which may soon justify its classification as Vulnerable under criteria A4c.
2006 Data Deficient (IUCN 2006)
2006 Data Deficient
1996 Data Deficient

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: C. centralis ranges from Chiapas state in Mexico, through Central America, to western Colombia, north-western Ecuador and north-western Venezuela (Gardner 2005, Tirira 2007). It occurs from sea level to around 3,000 m asl.
Belize; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: C. centralis is apparently rare and patchily distributed. Individuals are not commonly seen or captured, which may be due to its secretive habits. The population trend is unknown.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: C. centralis occurs in dry, to moderately moist (mesic), deciduous and semi-deciduous forests, at forest edges in rocky terrain and in open habitats such as dry savanna (Reid 1997). It has also been recorded in tropical moist montane forests, as well as in the subparamo of the Colombian Central Andean highlands (Díaz-N. and Sánchez-Giraldo 2008). It can be found in secondary forest habitat, and also tolerates a moderate mix of forest and agricultural land. It is a solitary, insectivorous species, partly adapted to digging and life underground.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to this species are not known. Throughout most of its range, C. centralis is not hunted for food because of its pungent odour and local beliefs. The species is, however, indistinctively hunted along its known Andean distribution. Some Andean populations are facing severe impacts due to urbanization of their natural habitat. C. centralis is distributed throughout the Tropical Dry Forest, one of the most threatened habitats of northwestern South America, which in Colombia has been reduced to 1.5% of its original area (Etter 1993). Although its sensitivity to habitat loss is not known and the species seems to tolerate some degree of habitat degradation, it seems to prefer primary, well-preserved forests. The severe habitat transformations are therefore likely to have a negative impact on the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This armadillo species has been recorded from a number of protected areas, such as Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, Mache-Chindul Ecological Reserve, Manglares Cayapas-Mataje Ecological Reserve and Bilsa Protected Forest in Ecuador. There is a need to determine the population status of the species throughout its range, as well as potential threats.
Citation: Superina, M. Abba, A. M. 2010. Cabassous centralis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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