Maned Sloth


The critically endangered pygmy three-toed sloth which is endemic to the small island of Isla Escudo de Veraguas off the coast of Panama. At only 430 hectares, Escudo de Veraguas Island is a small island and the pygmy sloths remain Critically Endangered. However, this new information means they may be slightly further from extinction than feared. Sloths can live for 20 years in the wild if free from the perils of hunters and predators.

The pale- and brown-throated three-toed sloths mate seasonally, while the maned three-toed sloth breeds at any time of the year. Litters are of one newborn only, after six months’ gestation for three-toed, and 12 months’ for two-toed. In some cases, young sloths die from a fall indirectly because the mothers prove unwilling to leave the safety of the trees to retrieve the young. Females normally bear one baby every year, but sometimes sloths’ low level of movement actually keeps females from finding males for longer than one year. Sloths are not particularly sexually dimorphic and several zoos have received sloths of the wrong sex.

Based on morphological comparisons, it was thought the two-toed sloths nested phylogenetically within one of the divisions of the extinct Greater Antilles sloths. Though data has been collected on over 33 different species of sloths by analyzing bone structures, many of the relationships between clades on a phylogenetic tree were unclear. Much of the morphological evidence collected to support the hypothesis of diphyly has been based on the structure of the inner ear.

Other than the mane, the fur is relatively uniform in color, and, in particular, the males lack the patch of bright fur found on the back of other, closely related, sloths. The Sloth Institute Costa Rica is known for caring, rehabilitating and releasing sloths back into the wild. Also in Costa Rica, the Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary cares for sloths. It has rehabilitated and released about 130 individuals back into the wild.

Pygmy sloths resemble brown-throated sloths but weigh a lot lesser than brown-throated species. Maned sloths are only found in Brazil and are currently Vulnerable. Maned sloths are the largest species among the three-toed rite aid job survey sloths. There is not much information available about how well they do in captivity. Three-toed sloths, although mainly nocturnal, may be active day or night but spend only about 10 percent of their time moving at all.

WWF and others are working to reduce human-elephant conflict by setting up warning systems when elephants enter human settlements, and driving the elephants back into the forest. Civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo is part of the reason eastern lowland gorillas are endangered, WWF reports. Through the years, habitat destruction, poaching, and illegal mining have all taken a toll. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation is working to reintroduce these animals from captive populations back to the wild, protect their habitat, and educate nearby communities to help protect the species. The primary reason orangutans are in trouble is the destruction of their habitat, reports the Orangutan Foundation International. Legal and illegal logging, destroying forest to create forest to palm oil and timber operation, and mining are high on the list of threats.