Chaetophractus nationi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cingulata Dasypodidae

Scientific Name: Chaetophractus nationi
Species Authority: (Thomas, 1894)
Common Name(s):
English Andean Hairy Armadillo, Bolivian Hairy Armadillo
Spanish Quirquincho Andino
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon may in fact represent a subspecies of Chaetophractus vellerosus (Wetzel 1985, Gardner 2005), and recent studies have not found any significant morphological or genetic differences between the two species (Abba et al. 2013). Some records may therefore have been mis-classified.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2acd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-10-02
Assessor(s): Perez Zubieta, J., Abba, A.M. & Superina, M.
Reviewer(s): Loughry, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Abba, A.M.
Chaetophractus nationi is listed as Vulnerable because data from Bolivia suggest that its population has experienced a decline exceeding 30% over the last 10 years, largely due to high rates of exploitation. This species is probably affected by hunting and habitat degradation over its entire range, but the impact of these threats in other range countries than Bolivia is unknown due to a lack of field studies. Taxonomic studies are urgently needed to determine whether C. nationi is a valid species or a high-altitude form of C. vellerosus.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2010 Vulnerable (VU)
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2006 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This armadillo species is found in Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. Its distribution is poorly known, as it is very similar to Chaetophractus vellerosus and could actually be a high-altitude form of this species. In Argentina, it has been recorded in localities farther south than its current range (Carrizo et al. 2005), but these records need to be confirmed to exclude the possibility that they are C. vellerosus. This species occurs at altitudes between 2,400 and 4,000 m Asl.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina (Catamarca, Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán); Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Chile (Antofagasta, Tarapacá); Peru
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 2400
Upper elevation limit (metres): 4000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Peredo (1999) estimated a total population of 13,000 individuals in an area of 340 km² in Bolivia. The wild populations are decreasing, especially in Bolivia.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This omnivorous species inhabits high altitude grasslands, where it digs its burrows in sandy soils (Redford and Eisenberg 1992, Pérez Zubieta 2008). It may forage in cultivated areas (Pérez-Zubieta 2011).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This armadillo is intensely used to manufacture charangos (traditional music instruments) and matracas, which are used in traditional dances—especially during the carnival in Oruro, Bolivia. It is also used to make amulets and souvenirs (Romero-Muñoz and Pérez-Zubieta 2008, Pérez Zubieta et al. 2009). The species is also used as a protein source.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is intensively harvested commercially, mainly for its carapace that is used to make charangos (musical instrument) and handicrafts (Romero-Muñoz and Pérez-Zubieta 2008), but also for its meat. Cáceres (1995) estimated 2,000 individuals harvested each year in Bolivia. It also suffers habitat loss from sand excavation for concrete production (Peredo 1999) and agricultural activities (Ríos and Rocha 2002).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed in Appendix II of CITES. It is found in one protected area in Bolivia (Sajama National Park). Further systematic studies for this species are needed to determine if it is a distinct species or a high-altitude subspecies of Chaetophractus vellerosus (Wetzel 1985, Gardner 2005, Abba et al. 2013).

Citation: Perez Zubieta, J., Abba, A.M. & Superina, M. 2014. Chaetophractus nationi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T4367A47438187. . Downloaded on 31 May 2016.
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