Zaedyus pichiy


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Zaedyus pichiy
Species Authority: (Desmarest, 1804)
Common Name/s:
English Pichi
Spanish Piche
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies are described but require confirmation: Z. p. pichiy and Z. p. caurinus (Gardner 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-12-09
Assessor/s: Superina, M. & Abba, A.M.
Reviewer/s: Roig, V.G. & Seitz, V.
Contributor/s: Roig, V.G.
Zaedyus pichiy is listed as Near Threatened as, although relatively widespread and present in a number of protected areas, it is hunted significantly, especially in northern and eastern portions of its range, with local extinctions recorded in some areas; there is little known about the declines in the southern part of its range. Across its range, the species is thought likely to have undergone a decline in the order of 20% over the past 10 years or so. It almost qualifies as Threatened under criterion A2d.
2006 Near Threatened (IUCN 2006)
2006 Near Threatened
1996 Data Deficient

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This small armadillo ranges from Argentina (Mendoza, San Luis, and southwestern Buenos Aires) and eastern Chile south to the Straits of Magellan. It is found from sea level to 2,500 m asl.
Argentina; Chile
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Z. pichiy is not abundant in southern Buenos Aires Province (A.M. Abba pers. comm. 2004), and its abundance has declined in Mendoza Province within the last 10 years (M. Superina pers. comm. 2004).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This mostly solitary species is found in desert, xeric grassland and shrubland, and Patagonian steppe habitats, always with sandy soils (including volcanic soil). It can be found in some degraded habitats. Animals have a relatively large home range within their arid habitat. The female gives birth to one or two young.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Z. pichiy is threatened by hunting for food and sport, including hunting with dogs. An epidemic of an unknown disease has locally affected the species in some areas, and appears to be associated with rainy periods. It is threatened to some degree by overgrazing of its habitat by cattle.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Z. pichiy is present in many protected areas. Hunting of this species in Argentina and Chile continues, even though this is prohibited.

Bibliography [top]

Aguiar, J. M. and da Fonseca, G. A. B. 2008. Conservation status of the Xenarthra. In: S. F. Vizcaino and W. J. Loughry (eds), The Biology of the Xenarthra, pp. 215-231. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (comps and eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Gardner, A. L. 1993. Order Xenarthra. In: D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A taxonomic and geographic reference. Second Edition, pp. 63-68. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Gardner, A. L. 2005. Order Cingulata. In: D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A taxonomic and geographic reference. Third edition., pp. 94-99. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Iriarte, A. W. 2008. Mamíferos de Chile. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.2). Available at: (Accessed: 29 June 2010).

Redford, K. H. and Eisenberg, J. F. 1992. Mammals of the Neotropics, The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Superina, M. 2008. The natural history of the Pichi, Zaedyus pichiy, in western Argentina. In: S. F. Vizcaino and W. J. Loughry (eds), The Biology of the Xenarthra, pp. 313-318. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Superina, M. and Jahn, G. 2009. Seasonal reproduction in male pichis Zaedyus pichiy (Xenarthra: Dasypodidae) estimated by fecal androgen metabolites and testicular histology. Animal Reproduction Science 112: 283-292.

Superina, M., Carreño, N. and Jahn, G. 2009. Characterization of seasonal reproduction patterns in female pichis, Zaedyus pichiy (Xenarthra: Dasypodidae) estimated by fecal sex steroid metabolites and ovarian histology. Animal Reproduction Science 116: 358-369.

Superina, M., Garner, M. M. and Aguilar, R. F. 2009. Health evaluation of free-ranging and captive pichis, Zaedyus pichiy (Mammalia, Dasypodidae) in Mendoza Province, Argentina. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 45: 174-183.

Wetzel, R. M. 1982. Systematics, distribution, ecology, and conservation of South American edentates. In: M. A. Mares and H. H. Genoways (eds), Mammalian biology in South America, pp. 345-375. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Citation: Superina, M. & Abba, A.M. 2010. Zaedyus pichiy. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 17 April 2014.
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