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Home // Research grants // Our worldwide projects // Three-toed pygmy sloth

Three-toed pygmy sloth

The pygmy three-toed sloth, also known as a monk sloth or dwarf sloth, is famous for its slow movements but is surprisingly good swimming. Sadly this unique animal's tiny home is being destroyed daily.

The problem

The Critically Endangered pygmy sloth is only found on the tiny island of Escudo de Veraguas just off the coast of Panama.

The island where these creatures are found is tiny and they aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Although the island is mostly uninhabited, local fishermen sometimes cut down the mangroves for charcoal and timber. A greater threat of large-scale tourism also exists.

The solution

We are supporting Zoological Society London (ZSL) fellow Diorene Smith, to become a champion of the three-toed pygmy sloth. She has established a monitoring protocol to ensure that the 100 sloths that live on and around the mangrove swamps and under surveillance. Diorene is also working hard to ensure no sloths are hunted for food or taken into captivity. As well as providing protection for the three-toed sloth, Diorene’s work will help many other species including fruit bats, humming birds, wrens and salamanders.

Latest update

Read the final project report here.

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