Protecting Endangered and Unknown Armadillos in the Llanos of Colombia

Timeframe:  2020 - 2023
Country/Region: Colombia
Partner: Fundación Omacha

Armadillos are an ancient and unusual group of mammals restricted to the Americas. The development of conservation plans for armadillos is hindered by the scarcity of scientific information on their ecology, reproductive strategies, and threats to their survival. The situation is especially critical in the Orinoco Llanos region of eastern Colombia, which is inhabited by five armadillo species, including the charismatic giant armadillo and the northern long-nosed armadillo, which are classified as Vulnerable and Near Threatened, respectively. Demographic shifts associated with the expansion of agro-industrial and oil extraction activities in the Llanos have led to a loss of traditional knowledge on wildlife conservation and an increase in illegal commercial hunting and trade of armadillos that are affecting the wild populations. In addition, the rapid loss of natural habitats requires the integration of wildlife conservation into agro-industrial activities, thus mitigating their impact.

Through this project, Fundación Omacha aims at guaranteeing the long-term conservation of armadillos in the Llanos of Colombia by:

  • Reducing commercial hunting and consumption of armadillos;
  • Consolidating conservation agreements with local communities to protect these charismatic species;
  • Establishing an “armadillo-friendly” label for oil palm plantations;
  • Increasing scientific knowledge on the least known species;
  • Positioning armadillos as the flagship species of the Llanos.