Alabama is gifted with a ton of wildlife variety – deer, fish, turkeys, birds, etc. But not all wildlife is looked upon appreciatively or as welcomed by locals. Of all the wildlife-related rings the No. 1 objection tends to be regarding armadillos.
Below In this article, I’ve explained everything you need to know about the Armadillos In Alabama, their eating habits, and what you can do to avoid one visiting your backyard.
Are There Armadillo In Alabama?
Yes, there are Armadillos in Alabama. In the 1950s, banded armadillos were found only in Texas and Louisiana. Then, soon they were introduced to Florida, where they become quite apparent by the end of the 1960s.
Armadillos in Alabama assumably moved from Florida, where the armadillo’s populations were initiated from accidental discharges from zoos and unconsciously hauling from Texas by railcar and truck.
Currently, these prehistoric-looking animals have extended through most of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.
Why Are Armadillos In Alabama?
The armadillos in Alabama are very versatile and do nicely in most habitat kinds that are found within the state.
They typically avoid areas that are very wet or dry habitats. Habitat appropriateness depends mostly on the characteristics of the soils or substrate, instead of the vegetation style this is because of the armadillo’s burrowing and feeding behavior.
The current rapid growth of the armadillo’s habitat in Alabama is encouraged by a few factors like a decrease in the population of big carnivores; spontaneous and intentional relocations of creatures into unoccupied regions and biotic & climatic changes.
What Kind Of Armadillo Lives In Alabama?
Armadillos belong to a specific family containing roughly 20 species of insect-consuming mammals. These species are native to South America and Central America.
But in Alabama, only the nine-banded armadillo is found as they are the only species that is native to the U.S.
Armadillo’s body is protected with an armored shell or carapace. The shell is a dual layer of bone and horn, divided into three main divisions.
The legs and head are also protected with thick scales, and the tail is covered in a sequence of bony circles. The coloration of these species is grayish brown color, with a few yellowish scales on the flank of the carapace. They have pointed snouts, cylindrical ears, and small eyes. The pointed snout, stout legs, and heavy claws are naively fitted or burrowing and digging.
Armadillo Population In Alabama?
It is quite difficult to pin point the exact population of Armadillos in Alabama. But I can assure you that they‘re quite abundant and thriving.
The original distribution of armadillos was only from the lower Rio Grande Valley between Texas and Mexico. However, the habitat range of these nine-banded armadillos has encountered rapid growth in a few of the southern states of the United States only from the 1800s.
Now armadillos are present throughout the southeastern and southern U.S., as far north as Nebraska and Colorado. These species are quite common in most of Alabama, but less seen in many northeastern counties.
Also Check Out Our Guide On Armadillo in US
What Do Alabama Armadillos Eat?
A significant amount of the armadillo’s life is spent outside its hole, which is dedicated to feeding. They generally start foraging as they arise from their shelter and move at a sluggish pace following an often unpredictable course.
The prey is noticed by smell, though sound plays an important role. Specific foraging conduct involves fast probing with the snout and sometimes pausing to search for prey. They are opportunistic eaters and consume an assortment of food.
Ants, insects, termites spiders, and various other invertebrates make up most of their diet, especially west of Alabama. Small vertebrates and plants make the remaining of their diet.
Studies have also proven that armadillos feed on small amphibians and reptiles, the eggs of low-level nesting birds, and carrion. Turkey and quail eggs also have been reported in armadillo stomach contents, but this is only in some cases.
Also Check Our Guide On Armadillos In Florida
Can You Shoot An Armadillo In Alabama?
Yes, you can kill armadillos in Alabama as they are considered to be a nuisance and their burrowing practices can damage properties. Also, they carry diseases that are harmful to humans.
You can poison it to eat grubs and live worms or also shoot them if your place allows the legal release of a firearm. Armadillos in Alabama are not known for having an open hunting season and are also not protected by the law in any way.
However, local regulations on discharging firearms might prohibit this action. Even more difficult, armadillos are busy at night and do not have predictable plans for visiting, so the odds of actually seeing and shooting one are very low. This opportunity needs constant observation and perhaps even sleepless nights.
How To Get Rid Of Armadillo In Alabama?
Since armadillos mainly forage on invertebrates, removing the food source will make them search for food, elsewhere. Yet, freeing the soil and foliage of all worms, insects, and grubs might not be practical, it is the most effective way to get rid of them in your backyard.
Live traps lured with overripe fruit, can be used to catch armadillos. If the damage is done only to the garden area, then an electric fence can be an quite effective format of control. If you are using a trap, then the captured animal must be released somewhere else that is far from the damaged area.
Also Check Our Guide On Armadillo In Texas
And that was everything you need to know about the Armadillo In Alabama. I hope this article answered all your queries.
Thank You For Reading!
Our Source For This Guide
Founder Of This Website
I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.