Armadillos advance Northward across the US as temperatures rise, sightings increase dramatically in Illinois


The nine-banded armadillo is native to Central and South America. The creatures moved to the Southern United States in the mid-1800s and as warm weather spreads across the U.S, armadillos have steadily moved north for over 100 years.

Armadillos have sturdy shells but lack insulation. As winter arrives, their food supply becomes scarce and frozen ground conditions prevent them from digging in search of food. Due to global warming, the temperatures haven’t been dropping low enough in recent years in places like Illinois making these places habitable for them. Humans have killed off most of their natural predators, and roadways have offered them easier means of travel to new habitats.

Trent Ford, Illinois state climatologist said:

It's a living illustration of the insidious effects of climate change. When you talk about climate change), you really have to tailor it to your audience, but even someone ideologically conservative (on the subject of climate change), when they see an armadillo in Illinois, walking around their backyard, they tend to recognize, OK, something's different now.

People with recent armadillo sightings are encouraged to report them to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Armadillos are not currently protected by the Illinois Wildlife Code. They may be removed without a permit.

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