Arnaud’s Blog – Expansion into the Cerrado
August 28, 2015 § Leave a comment
Many of my recent updates have focused solely on the work we are doing with the giant armadillos but there are several other aspects and updates from the project, which I thought I would take the opportunity to share, including our expansion into the Cerrado.
In addition to locating armadillos, one of the other objectives of the June expedition was to catch and collar three giant anteaters, which we successfully managed to do, as three adult females were caught in locations where our giant armadillos are found. In the July expedition we managed to catch a further three giant anteaters, two males and one female. We will not be catching more giant anteaters, as six is the maximum number we can safely monitor while running the rest of the project.
As part of our research we are running a comparative study between giant anteaters and giant armadillos and this data will be crucial to our understanding of how these giant Xenarthra divide their ecological niche. Furthermore we will be running a comparative study in the Cerrado on giant anteaters in the years to come.
A big piece news for the project was the purchase of the field truck, in time to take it to the field with us. The timing of its purchase couldn’t have been better as on the third day the old red truck became quiet and stopped working!…. I cannot thank enough all the zoos that have come together to help us purchase the truck.
As for the Cerrado, Gabriel is currently in the field with a biologist and they have detected giant armadillo presence in two new locations, more of which I hope to share in my next update. . I have also been working with a designer on materials to help others identify giant armadillo tracks, burrows and evidence.
Finally, we were delighted to receive, on behalf of the project, a certificate recognizing our contributions to biodiversity conservation in the state, from an elected member of the municipal council.. We were very pleased to receive this local recognition which will hopefully give the project conservation recommendations more consideration in the future.
Until next time.
Dr Arnaud Desbiez
RZSS Regional Coordinator (Latin America)