Tolypeutes tricinctus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-12-04
Assessor/s: Superina, M. Abba, A.M.
Reviewer/s: Reis, M. & Marinho Filho, J.
Tolypeutes tricinctus is listed as Vulnerable because of a population decline - estimated to be more than 30% over the last 10-12 years - inferred from ongoing exploitation and habitat loss and degradation.
2006 Vulnerable (IUCN 2006)
2006 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Indeterminate (IUCN 1990)
1988 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
1982 Indeterminate (Thornback and Jenkins 1982)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: T. tricinctus is endemic to Brazil, where it has been recorded from the states of Bahia, Ceará, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, Piauí, Mato Grosso (extreme central eastern portion), Goiás (extreme north), Minas Gerais (extreme north-west), Tocantins (eastern portion), Paraíba, and Rio Grande do Norte.
Brazil (Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe, Tocantins)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: T. tricinctus was believed to be extinct until its rediscovery in the early 1990s in a handful of scattered localities. 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 Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: T. 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). It is not adapted to digging and life underground. When threatened, it has the habit of rolling into an easily portable ball.  Population densities have been estimated at 0.97 individuals/km2, but are expected to be considerably lower in areas with hunting pressure.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): T. 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 the protected areas and are especially threatened by conversion of their natural habitat to sugar cane and soybean plantations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: T. tricinctus has been observed in Serra da Capivara and Serra das Confusões National Parks, both in southern Piaui (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).
Citation: Superina, M. Abba, A.M. 2010. Tolypeutes tricinctus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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