Armadillos

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Armadillos

The nine-banded armadillo

The nine-banded armadillo

The nine-banded armadillo

The nine-banded armadillo

Nolan Heitman, Senior Reporter

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Introduction:
Armadillos are non-native animals that inhabit central and southern parts of the U.S. There are 21 species of armadillo. The most commonly found in the U.S is the nine-banded armadillo which got its origins from South America. Over the past twenty years, the armadillo population has grown so much that not only has the population density of the armadillo grown in the south, but there have even been numerous reports of armadillos reaching central Illinois. This very fact has started to get some farmers worried about their livelihood. Much like the prairie dog, the armadillo will dig tunnels or in this case burrows for shelter. Since armadillos are very picky about where they live, the armadillo will move out of their home into a drier area. June and July are the animal’s breeding season which doesn’t make anything better because Kansas becomes a bleak and never-ending desert during these months. The ground will be dry, putting farmers at risk for an armadillo invasion. Also, the armadillo is a bit of a slob. The animals will make a burrow or dig a hole in the earth and when they’re done they won’t refill the hole, causing a minefield of major inconvenience for a farmer. This brings us to our question. Are armadillos a nuisance?

 

Claim:

This claim by “Armadillo Online” states that armadillos are very invasive because of their interest in digging holes for grubs in agricultural land. Not only are they a problem for farmers in the U.S but the giant armadillo has terrorized and annoyed farmers in South Africa. Not only does this article have good information on the infestation from the armadillos but it has instructions on how to get rid of them. The simplest way to get rid of these animals is to flush them out by setting fire of the hole or calling your local animal control or hillbillies to either capture or kill the armadillos. If any of these ways of pest control is either too uncomfortable or unnecessary the article “How to Get Rid of Armadillos” takes a practical approach.

Counterclaim:

The only type of armadillo that has protection status is the giant armadillo located in South America and soon to be the Andean hairy armadillo. The other species are armadillo are free game. Some of the extremists (PETA) have posted multiple (and quite flimsy) articles on this issue. PETA I agree with you that there is value in every animal’s life, but we are coming close to the point where these animals are causing farmers to lose too much money and doing too much damage to native species. Right now I am leaning towards population control where we help farmers and the ecosystem out.

Quotes:

A quote from a local farmer at a gun auction,”I hate those rolly polly things. They dig so many holes in my property that it becomes dangerous to take my cattle out.” There were also numerous things that she said that I would rather not get into because of the amount of cursing that was in them.

The following quote is from my dad, Bryce Heitman, “The populations has gotten so out of control that the armadillos become a dangerous road hazard. What they’ll do is curl up into a ball and then launch themselves vertically into the air. The car then unintentionally runs into the armadillo and the armadillo crashes into the windshield, killing itself in the process and injuring the passenger.”

The last quote is from my classmate, Lacey Rust, “My family is not very civil when armadillos are involved. They leave holes all along my pasture.”

Conclusion:

From the information and opinions from my classmates and neighbors I have come to the conclusion that the armadillo population is out of control. Unlike the prairie dogs the armadillo population out of control, with large populations moving closer towards Kansas and other Northern states. I believe that we should put population caps on the armadillos and put a cash reward for each body until we level the population to an appropriate level.