Range expansion and distributional limits of the nine-banded armadillo in the United States: an update of Taulman & Robbins (1996)

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Abstract

We conducted a new survey of biologists throughout the southern and central United States, in order to update our last analysis of the range expansion and distributional limits of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) since 1994. While the armadillo's range has remained stationary to the west along a line corresponding to about 50 cm annual precipitation, it has advanced to the north through central Kansas, into central Illinois, south-western Indiana and western Kentucky, through central Tennessee, covering Alabama and all but the north-eastern region of Georgia, and into central South Carolina. The population has reached a latitude corresponding to an average minimum daily January temperature of −8 °C in Kansas. Armadillos may continue to move northwards in states farther east where they do not yet reach the −8 °C zone. In the eastern seaboard states, other factors besides winter temperature extremes may be limiting the armadillo's range expansion.

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