Tolypeutes tricinctus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cingulata Chlamyphoridae

Scientific Name: Tolypeutes tricinctus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Brazilian Three-banded Armadillo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-10-03
Assessor(s): Miranda, F., Moraes-Barros, N., Superina, M. & Abba, A.M.
Reviewer(s): Loughry, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Abba, A.M.
Tolypeutes tricinctus is listed as Vulnerable because of a population decline—estimated to be more than 30% over the last 10-15 years—inferred from ongoing exploitation and habitat loss and degradation. A reassessment is being carried out at the national level in Brazil, which may result an update of the global IUCN Red List assessment for this species.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Tolypeutes tricinctus is endemic to Brazil, where it has been recorded from the states of Bahia, Ceará, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, Piauí, Maranhão (eastern portion), Mato Grosso (extreme central eastern portion), Goiás (extreme north), Minas Gerais (extreme north-west), Tocantins (eastern portion), Paraíba, and Rio Grande do Norte (Oliveira 1995, Anacleto et al. 2006, Oliveira et al. 2007, Zimbres et al. 2012).
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Goiás, Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe, Tocantins)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:937000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Tolypeutes tricinctus was believed to be extinct until its rediscovery in 1988 in a handful of scattered localities (Santos et al. 1994). It has probably disappeared over much of its range, but it is difficult to survey its populations (Nowak 1999). This armadillo has a patchy distribution; population densities may be relatively high within certain patches (J. Marinho-Filho pers. comm. 2010), except in areas where the species is exposed to human pressure. Population density has been estimated at 1.2 animals per km2 in the Cerrado (Bocchiglieri 2010), but is expected to be considerably lower in areas with hunting pressure.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Tolypeutes tricinctus mainly occurs in caatinga habitat (dry thorn scrub of north-eastern Brazil), but it is also found in the eastern parts of cerrado habitat (bush savanna in central Brazil). Significant habitat loss has been recorded in its range, especially in the Cerrado. It is not adapted to digging and life underground. When threatened, it has the habit of rolling into an easily portable ball.

In a study near Jaborandi (Bahia), the mean home range was estimated at 122 hectares, with adult males having significantly larger home ranges (238 hectares) than females (Guimarães 1997). Guimarães (1997) observed an overlap of the home ranges of males and females, as well as of adult males of varying age. In the latter, the overlap was restricted to a small area at the edge of their home ranges.

There are no direct data on wild individuals to be able to estimate generation length for T. tricinctus. This species is rarely kept in captivity, but data from the captive population of the closely related T. matacus in North America indicate a mean generation time for captive individuals as 7.73 years. However, this estimate may be skewed due to management practices (J. Gramieri pers. comm). Generation length for Tolypeutes in the wild is likely to be shorter than for captive individuals. In the absence of more direct life history data, a generation length of 5 years is used here for T. tricinctus.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is hunted for food.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Tolypeutes tricinctus is threatened by heavy hunting pressure and habitat loss. In the Caatinga, the remaining populations are practically isolated in protected areas and are subjected to subsistence hunting. In the Cerrado, the main populations live outside protected areas and are especially threatened by conversion of their natural habitat to sugar cane and soybean plantations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Tolypeutes tricinctus has been observed in Serra da Capivara and Serra das Confusões National Parks, both in southern Piauí (Marinho-Filho and Lima 2008). It is present in the Grande Sertão Veredas National Park, northern Minas Gerais (M.L. Lima pers. comm. 2010). It was also recorded in the Ecological Station of Serra Geral do Tocantins and Jalapão State Park (Tocantins), as well as in the Raso da Catarina Biological Reserve and Veredas do Oeste baiano Wildlife Refuge (Bahia; Marinho-Filho and Lima 2008, M.L. Lima pers. comm. 2010). No protected areas exist in the area of highest population density (J. Marinho-Filho pers. comm. 2010).

According to distribution models, less than three percent of the potential range of this species lies within integral protection conservation units, while an additional five percent of its potential range fall within sustainable use conservation units (Zimbres et al. 2012).

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Causing/Could cause fluctuations ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.1. Species Action/Recovery Plan
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.2. Area-based Management Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

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Citation: Miranda, F., Moraes-Barros, N., Superina, M. & Abba, A.M. 2014. Tolypeutes tricinctus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T21975A47443455. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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