Armadillos in Blytheville? | Arkansas Blog

Armadillos in Blytheville?

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Today is the first day of summer, and it's hot. It's been hot for a while, actually.

Hot weather is nothing new for us, of course, but a growing pile of evidence indicates it is getting hotter. And recently people previously thought to be skeptical of global warming, like hunters, fishers and other sportsmen (who are conservative on most issues) have been acknowledging its effects on animal migration patterns and natural habitats.

And now comes another small piece of anecdotal evidence concerning armadillos. Typically associated with the South Texas desert, they are apparently moving north ... to Arkansas.

Recently after appearing on television to discuss climate change, I received an e-mail from a man in northeast Arkansas: "I enjoyed your report on Sixty Minutes and commend your strength. I would like to tell you of an observation I have made. It is the armadillo. I had not seen one of these animals my entire life, until the last ten years. I drive the same forty-mile trip on the same road every day and have slowly watched these critters advance further north every year and they are not stopping. Every year they move several miles."

Armadillos appear to be pretty tough. Their mobility suggests that they have a good chance to keep up with the movement of their climate zone, and to be one of the surviving species. Of course, as they reach the city limits of St. Louis and Chicago, they may not be welcome. And their ingenuity may be taxed as they seek ways to ford rivers and multiple-lane highways.

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