By Jean-Paul MacDonald, Farms.com
Thanks to climate change, digging Armadillos are threatening crops in Illinois. Conservation biologist Anant Deshwal and his team at Bradley University are warning of the potential threat posed by armadillos to agriculture in central Illinois. With climate trends leading to warmer and wetter weather in the region, armadillos are moving northward and have been sighted more frequently in the area.
While armadillos have lived in southern Illinois for years, they are now moving into central Illinois, where they can cause significant soil damage with their digging. The animals forage for food and breed by digging holes, and use these burrows to escape the winter cold.
Deshwal's lab is studying armadillo migration patterns in the state and the potential impact on crop yields in the future. His team has attempted to brainstorm solutions to curtail the northward spread of the animals, but Deshwal ultimately believes that the best solution is mitigating climate change in general.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is asking the public to report armadillo sightings north of the Springfield area.