• The red slender loris (Loris tardigradus) is endemic to Sri Lanka. Its relative, the grey slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus) also occurs in India.
  • Slender lorises are so-named because of their long, slender arms and legs.
  • Their faces are dominated by huge round eyes which give them excellent night vision and enable them to hunt for insects during the night.
  • This species is among the most social of the nocturnal primates.
  • The tears of the slender loris have reportedly been used in traditional charms and love potions.
  • Populations are declining as a result of habitat degradation and fragmentation. Forests in Sri Lanka are rapidly being cleared for logging, agriculture (particularly tea, rubber, cinnamon and oil palm plantations) and human settlement, leaving slender loris populations stranded in poor quality forest fragments, where there is often insufficient food and shelter.
  • The use of agricultural pesticides may be reducing the quantity of insect prey in some areas, and accumulation of some insecticides is thought to be negatively affecting lorises.
  • Current geological surveys have reported that several montane peaks contain high levels of lead pollution and there are fears that this may be leading to decreased fertility in the lorises that occur there.
  • Over-collection of firewood is also causing a problem because villagers are not only collecting dead wood but also cutting down the under-story plants, many of which contain seedlings of important cloud forest trees.
  • There are some reports of slender lorises being electrocuted on power lines, or killed while crossing roads.
Conservation Required
  • Surveys to determine the distribution and threats facing the red slender loris.
  • Identify and protect areas of important loris habitat.
  • Create forest corridors between fragmented patches of loris habitat.
  • Develop educational and alternative livelihood programmes for local communities.
  • Provide support and training to in-country researchers and conservation organisations so that they can continue to monitor and protect the slender loris into the future.

Proposed Actions

EDGE aims to help secure the future of the endangered Sri Lankan slender loris by determining its population status and distribution so that important areas of habitat can be identified and protected.

The red slender loris, Loris tardigradus, is a nocturnal primate species endemic to Sri Lanka. Classified as Endangered by the IUCN, it is declining because its forest habitat is being destroyed for logging, agriculture and development. As the forest patches become increasingly fragmented, isolated populations become stranded and cannot move far to escape threats, find food or meet potential mates.

EDGE researchers hope to collaborate with Sri Lankan conservation organisations and loris experts to develop a management strategy for the red slender loris. Detailed research will be carried out into the abundance, distribution, and threats facing the species so that an appropriate long-term conservation programme can be established. The programme will focus on habitat restoration, protection and the creation of wildlife corridors in key areas identified during the initial research period.

More Focal Mammal species

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Associated Blog Posts
26th Sep 12
The Montane Evergreen Forests (MEF) of Sri Lanka will soon be expanding. This is great news for the Horton Plains slender loris (HPSL), a subspecies which i...  Read

16th Sep 11
Taking a trip to a primary school to join up with a Tuk Tuk rally to do some tree planting was not part of our original plan to launch our forest corrido...  Read

12th Sep 11
The Horton Plains slender loris, also known as montane loris (Loris tardigradus nyctoceboides) is bizarre and adorable all at once. It did a disappearing act...  Read

13th Jun 11
Note: Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign and helped us reach our target! if you would like to keep supporting EDGE project consider a monthly ...  Read

21st Jan 11
Last week two EDGE Fellows, Werner Conradie and Saman Gamage visited London to speak at the Zoological Society of London’s Communicating Science event:...  Read

19th Jul 10
A massive occupancy monitoring programme has been initiated over the past 18 months to assess the persistence of lorises in over 100 of the remaining fragmen...  Read