Subsidient: Jarno Verdonk/Utrecht University
Subsidy: S20.2-68

Armadillos are a species that occur throughout the Americas. Those species are habitat generalists, which means that they can survive in many different environmental conditions. Furthermore, they are an important food-source for indigenous communities in South America. However, it is unsure if armadillo population sizes are healthy or face a large pressure from communal activities such as hunting. Therefore, this study has gone to the Ecuadorian Amazon to map track encounters in the surroundings of an indigenous community. Research has proven that distance to community is a proxy for hunting pressure. Hence, this study looked at track encounters at different distances (hunting pressures) from the community. At the same time secondary variables, already proven to be important, such as water sources and forest-biomass have been collected and mapped.
After analyzing the data it was reconfirmed that tracks water-sources are an important habitat characteristic. However, forest-biomass did not give additional insights in where to encounter tracks. Most important, armadillo tracks increased with increasing distances (decreasing hunting pressure) from the community as was expected. The encountered tracks tripled with a distance of 600 meters from the community. Further research should focus on whether this hunting pressure is detrimental to the armadillo populations.