Giant Armadillo Conservation Project
Little was known about the giant armadillo until Dr Arnaud Desbiez began his pioneering research into the species in 2011. The Giant Armadillo Conservation Project – core funded by RZSS – established the first long term ecological study of giant armadillos in the Pantanal wetland and is now expanding to other Brazilian biomes.
The main goal of the project is to investigate the ecology and biology of the species and understand its function in the ecosystem using radio transmitters, camera traps, burrow surveys, resource monitoring, resource mapping and interviews with local people. Whilst it is still unclear how many giant armadillos remain in the wild, the species is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
As a result of the Giant Armadillo Conservation Project, state authorities have selected the giant armadillo as an indicator species for the creation of protected areas in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. A species few knew of five years ago will now be used to champion wider habitat conservation measures.
Arnaud received a prestigious Whitley Award in 2015, an accolade that recognised his enormous contribution to grassroots conservation in the Pantanal and beyond.
To learn more about the Giant Armadillo Project, visit giantarmadillo.org.br