EDGE Community

Project information

[Project name/title]
Conservation Status of the Montane Slender Loris in Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka

[Project description/overview]

Sri Lanka

Project type:

Relevant EDGE species:
Red Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus)

Project members:
Saman Gamage
Wasantha Liyanage

Relevant species
67. Red Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus) EN

The slender loris is characterised by its enormous eyes and extremely thin limbs.

[Relevance description]
The principle aim of this project is to provide baseline data to initiate an effective long-term conservation program for this unique species. This aim will be reached by: (i). Evaluating the current conservation and species status of this taxon; (ii). Assessing habitat use and preference; (iii). Educating and raising awareness in local community.
The Horton Plains National Park (IUCN Management Category II) faces constant threat from human pressure. The Department of Wildlife Conservation has set up an initial management plan, which does not include small and nocturnal mammals, such as L. t. nycticeboides . In addition, conservation education and awareness programs need to be expanded to include the smaller fauna. Based on the threats faced by the Horton Plains National Park, an IUCN CAMP meeting in Coimbatore, India, declared L. t. nycticeboides Critically Endangered. It is therefore vital that in order to save this species from extinction, population surveys and collection of baseline data, which will allow us to evaluate the conservation and species status of this subspecies. In addition, awareness for the Horton Plains slender loris at the local, national and international level must be raised. It is only with such data and effort at raising awareness, that an effective and sustainable long-term conservation program can be initiated.
Project summary
The red slender loris Loris tardigradus is a small nocturnal prosimian primate endemic to Sri Lanka. Currently two sub species are recognized (L. t. tardigradus and L. t. nycticeboides ). The subspecies of L. t. nycticeboides are different from other forms because they have shorter, stouter limbs relative to body length, a larger skull; and long heavy fur covering in the limbs. As the taxonomy of the genus Loris is still currently under revision, the species name L. tardigradus is conservatively used in here. The Loris tardigradus nycticeboides is confined to montane region specially the Horton Plains National Park and other montane forests whose fauna and flora are under threat from heavy human pressure. Very few studies have ever been carried out on this subspecies resulting in a deficiency of data, unknown conservation and species status, and an uncertain future. The aim of this project is to obtain baseline information on L. t. nycticeboides and its habitat to initiate an effective long-term conservation plan. This project will consist of a study of L.t.nycticeboides and its habitat, and community workshops.

This study is conducting under the supervision of Professor Sarath Kotagama, University of Colombo and Dr Dewaka Weerakoon, University of Colombo.
1. To evaluate the conservation status of Loris tardigradus nycticeboides in Horton Plains National Park
2. To evaluate species status
3. To assess habitat use and habitat preference
4. To assess potential predator risk
5. To promote the conservation of this species and its habitat and to raise awareness
Start date: April 2006
Duration: On going
Project members
Saman Gamage : Project leader

Saman is president of both LORRIS and PCSSL in Sri Lanka

[Member role description]
Wasantha Liyanage : Co-investigator

Wasantha is an advisor to the Ministry of Environment and Nature resources of Sri Lanka and treasurer of LORRIS

[Member role description]
Project partners
Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, University of Colombo
Department of Wild Life Conservation, Sri Lanka
Land Owners’ Restore Rainforests in Sri Lanka (LORRIS)
Primate Conservation Society of Sri Lanka (PCSSL)
Nature Exploration and Protection Society of Sri Lanka
Conservation Leadership Programme funded by BP
Mongo terrain
[Title:] Species
[Image caption]
Loris tardigradus tardigradus