Report armadillo sightings
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission wants to know about any armadillo sightings in North Carolina as biologists continue to study their range expansion in the state.
Armadillos lack thick insulation and must dig for most foods. Freezing conditions can cause them to starve or freeze to death, so mild winter temperature conditions are ideal for them. Given that North Carolina is experiencing fewer long stretches of below-freezing weather, 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.”
Native to Central and South America, armadillos have gradually expanded their range into the Southeastern 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. Learn more at ncwildlife.org/learning/species/mammals/armadillo.