Armadillo Expansion  LbNA # 66003 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 12 2013
LocationIslands of Peace Park, Fridley, MN
Found By AmyLou
Last Found Jul 28 2014
Hike Distance?

Armadillo Expansion

Armadillos - coming soon to a burrow near you?

The nine-banded armadillo has expanded its range northward into the United States over the last 150 years. due to a lack of natural predators. Prior to about 1850, the armadillo was not found north of the Rio Grande river. The sudden and extremely rapid armadillo colonization of the southern United States has puzzled quite a few biologists. The degree of range expansion per year is nearly ten times faster than the average rate expected for a mammal. Armadillo are found primarily in the south-central states (notably Texas), but with a range that extends as far east as South Carolina and Florida, and as far north as Nebraska and midwestern Kansas and even southern Illinois. Sightings of the animals farther north are reported every year, prompting many people to wonder just how far north the armadillo will go.

The Star Trib reported in April 2012 that a dead armadillo was found on a roadside near Montevideo, the second discovered in that area in 2012. Chances are that they were just visiting after hitching a ride up here on a grain truck.

This armadillo trekked up along the Mississippi to Charles Island in the Islands of Peace Park.

To find his burrow, head over to Islands of Peace Park and follow the winding path down to the bridge. Cross the bridge and go left at the paved path. Follow it past the Carpenters bench, keeping to the main path. Feel free to contemplate the trail's several stubby offshoots.

Stop at the point where the trail turns abruptly back along a higher road. At that point, the paving has two stubs. Walk across the one that faces the river and follow a dirt path that comes to an end in a small grove of 11 trees. There is also a tree trunk that makes a natural bench, perfectly situated for peacefully watching the river flow by.

Turn your back on the river and walk along the little inlet. Do not walk the plank. Pass two double lines of old pier posts. At the third, you will see a tree that reclines, pointing its branches towards a third line of posts and arching over the inlet. Pass behind that resting tree's partially exposed roots and look for the armadillo between the main trunk and the first branch, under bark and wood.

This can be a damp spot, not ideal for an armadillo, so please make sure he is packed up tightly and that he rests off the ground a bit on chunks of wood before you cover him up.