Thursday, September 24, 2009

Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus)

Have a close look at the Loris picture. What expression does he have? Surprise? Curiosity? Suspicion? Or maybe it is worried. With only around 1,500 Slender Loris’s left in Sri Lanka, it certainly has a reason to be a bit scared.

The Slender Loris can only be found in Sri Lanka's forests. They are nocturnal – sleeping in branches or hollow trees in the day and becoming active at night. They climb quietly through the forest looking for food, using branches and vines to help them travel. Their large eyes give them excellent night vision, and along with a keen sense of smell they find insects to eat, or as an especially delicious meal, lizards and geckos. They are named after their long, slender arms and legs, and have soft, thick grey or reddish fur.

Lorises are an endangered species. Loss of forest cover has greatly limited the habitat in which they can live. Unlike other species, they cannot adapt to living in different places such as home gardens. Lorises can also be the victim of road kill and are sometimes hunted for the pet trade. Sri Lanka does have national parks that protect the Lorises, and it is here you can still see some.

What can you do?

1. Plant a forest!
By supporting projects to restore forest cover you are creating new habitat for the Slender Loris to live in.

2. Drive carefully
If you are on a car journey at night, ask the driver to go slowly and carefully in forest areas so you don’t accidentally hit a Loris, or other animal that might have strayed onto the road.

3. Support our National Parks
By supporting the national parks in Sri Lanka that protect Loris populations, through visits or conservation works (what about organising a forest clean up?), you can help to protect Lorises habitat.

» Find out how else you can help to protect Sri Lanka's endangered species

Illustration by Aisa Hewatathirana

1 comment:

  1. good! could have add about the medical value