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You might see an armadillo in NC! If you do, be sure to report it

The Wildlife Commission wants your help determining their range expansion across the state.

RALEIGH, N.C. — If you spot an armadillo in the wild, you might want to report it.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking for the public's help to report any armadillo sightings in the state.

If you're taking a walk through the park and spot the little creature, you can take part in the NC Armadillo project by reporting it in a few different ways.

Submitting through the iNaturalist App

  1. Snap your photos of the little guy
  2. Download the iNaturalist app
  3.  Upload your pics to the app

Submitting via email

  1. Snap your photos and attach
  2. Write the date and time of when it was observed
  3. Write the location of the observation, GPS coordinates are preferred but a detailed location description is acceptable

Commission biologists are tracking their movements because of recent weather patterns. 

Armadillos lack thick insulation and have to dig for their food. When temperatures drop to freezing, it can cause them to freeze or starve to death, so it's best for the creatures to stay in mild winter conditions.

North Carolina has been experiencing fewer long stretches of below-freezing weather, so armadillos are expanding northward. 

“Whether armadillos continue spreading beyond their current range will be largely determined by climate,” according to Colleen Olfenbuttel, the Commission’s black bear and furbearer biologist. “The number of counties with confirmed observations is 28, stretching from Cherokee to Dare counties. This makes it likely the armadillo is expanding its range naturally throughout North Carolina, rather than being helped by human intervention.”   

Armadillos are native to Central and South America but have gradually expanded their range into the southeastern corners of the United States. 

In 2007, the agency received the first confirmed sighting of a nine-banded armadillo in Macon County and in the last 16 years has received more than 898 reports in 70 counties.  

In 2022, there were 234 reported sightings.

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