Armadillos are expanding further into the U.S.—and why is still a mystery
The armored mammals, native to the south and central U.S., have made it as far north as Virginia.
Roanoke, VirginiaWhen Nancy Moncrief began her job as curator of mammalogy for the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville in 1989, she figured the number of species on her watch wouldn’t change over the course of her career. And for two decades, her assumption seemed correct.
That all changed in May 2019, when she received an email from Mike Fies, a wildlife biologist at the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.
“Another Armadillo—Dead This Time,” read the subject line. Fies’s colleagues had found evidence of an armadillo two months before, but they had been unable to trap the animal for verification.
Moncrief, who studied at Louisiana State University, knew all about nine-banded armadillos, which are native to Central and South