Diorene Cabellos

  • Project name: Shielding from extinction the world´s most endangered Xenarthran
  • Project site: Isla Escudo de Veraguas, Panama
  • EDGE species: Pygmy three toed sloth Bradypus pygmaeus
  • Active: 2012 - ongoing


Having trained as a veterinary physician, Diorene’s passion for the protection of Panamanian fauna has, to date, been channelled into ensuring the successful running of Summit Zoo & Gardens Municipal Park. Her EDGE Fellowship kick started Diorene’s in situ conservation experience which has resulted in a scaled up EDGE project.

As a native Panamanian experienced in working with the IUCN, Diorene is ideally placed to work with local communities to find mutually agreeable solutions to reduce the threats to the sloth and bring the conservation of this poorly known species to international attention. In 2017 Diorene became one of the first EDGE Affiliates.

EDGE Project

Diorene’s EDGE Fellowship aimed to safeguard the last known population of pygmy sloth on Escudo de Veraguas. Her project objectives were to:

  • Determine the population size and distribution, behavioural ecology, and genetic characteristics of the species;
  • Identify and quantify the key pressures (social and economic) on the surviving pygmy sloth populations and work with local communities to develop sustainable alternatives;
  • Through environmental education and public advocacy, integrate project findings into local and national conservation planning to enhance management of Escudo de Veraguas Island.


  • Diorene received the 2016 Conservation Heroes award from the Disney Conservation Fund
  • She attended and presented her EDGE Fellowship project at the IUCN Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo Specialist Group meeting in Paramaribo, Surinam
  • She accepted an invitation to become a member of The Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo Specialist Group
  • She presented her project at the Panamanian NGO, Sociedad Mastozoológica de Panamá (SOMASPA)
  • She was invited to the radio station ‘KW Continente’, to give her input into the show ‘Ecological Week’ about the species of sloths in Panama with particular attention to the Pygmy sloth. She discussed her plans to conserve the endemic pygmy sloth

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