Seen an armadillo in N.C.? The NCWRC would like to know

Armadillos are not native to North Carolina, but they've been spotted throughout the state in recent years.

Non-native species is expanding throughout Tar Heel State

Have you ever spotted an armadillo in North Carolina? If so, the NCWRC wants to know about it. They are asking for public reports of any sightings of the animals throughout the Tar Heel State.

The agency set up the NC Armadillo Project at iNaturalist, which allows volunteers to upload and share their photos of armadillos. They can do this on a computer at, or on their phones and tablets with the free iNaturalist app.

Email is also an option. Details can be sent to, and should include the following information:

  • Photo of the animal
  • Date and time of armadillo sighting
  • Location of sighting (GPS location if possible, detailed description of it otherwise)

Armadillos are not native to North Carolina, or to the United States at all. They are native to Central and South America. However, they’ve expanded their range into the southeastern states. North Carolina’s first confirmed armadillo sighting was in 2007 in Macon County. Since then, the NCWRC has received 170+ reports in 46 of the state’s counties.

Colleen Olfenbuttel, the NCWRC’s black bear and furbearer biologist, said armadillos are likely naturally expanding throughout the state with no help from humans.

“North Carolina is experiencing fewer long stretches of below freezing weather, which is allowing armadillos to expand northward. Whether they continue spreading beyond their current range will largely be determined by climate. Mild winter temperatures are good for armadillos. They lake thick insulation and must dig for most foods. Freezing conditions can cause them to starve or freeze to death,” said Olfenbuttel.

Click here to check out the NCWRC’s armadillo species profile for more information about these creatures.



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Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at