Gaudin, Timothy J.
Loughry, W. J. (William James); Wilson, Thomas P.
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus L.) is currently considered an invasive species in parts of its range in the United States. As it continues to expand its range, more states may begin to consider armadillos an invasive or nuisance species and will need to make management decisions regarding this species as (1) a pest for landowners or land managers, (2) a possible threat to other species of conservation concern, and (3) a vector for Hansen’s disease (leprosy). Although research funds are scarce for a species that is currently not seen as a threat or an endangered animal, there are ways to use limited resources and community science to assist in filling knowledge gaps, which can then provide a baseline for where to begin research efforts. My research used community science and roadkill surveys to study habitat preferences across the state of Tennessee and tested roadkill for Hansen’s disease prevalence.
I would not have been able to finish this without the help and support of Alex J. Rocco. He was the one who encouraged me to email Drs. Wilson and Gaudin to ask about joining the graduate program, and he was almost always the first to review any papers or proposals. I am extremely grateful to Drs. Gaudin, Wilson, Loughry, McDonough, and Hayes for their feedback, ideas, suggestions, and guidance over the last two years. Nyssa Hunt has also been an amazing mentor, and my models and maps would not look as good without her assistance. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet some extremely wonderful and helpful landowners, undergraduate students, park rangers, and community members interested in wildlife conservation and research. There are several hundred individuals who also assisted by providing armadillo sightings directly to us or on iNaturalist. I would like to especially thank those who submitted several reports or assisted in locating burrows: Tish Gailmard, Jess Rocco, Ash Cable, Clint Dischner, Dr. David Aborn, Matthew Grisnik, the Kimmons family, and Juniper Russo. I would like to reprimand the armadillos who did not go into our traps when we tried using that method to collect data, but I will thank all of those that unfortunately lost their lives on roadways. At least some good came of it. And my final thanks are to my family members and friends who supported me through the good and bad. It means the world to me.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Nine-banded armadillo--United States--Tennessee; Introduced mammals--United States--Tennessee; Biogeography
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Turner, Carissa, "Determining habitat preferences of Dasypus novemcinctus and assessing prevalence of Hansen's disease in Tennessee with assistance from community science data" (2023). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.