Sloth News Day
1. There are six species of sloth categorised into two types; three-toed (Bradypodidae) and two-toed (Megalonychidae)
2. Sloths have been around on this planet for nearly 64 million years. They evolved from ancient giant ground sloths (over 6 meters in height).
3. Are excellent swimmers. Check out their swimming skills from BBC’s Planet Earth ll https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctutKTrf_NY
4. Slow : Lazy or effective survival skill? It is the latter. Due to their energy saving adaptations, sloths physically cannot move very fast. However this works to their advantage, as their predators detect prey via sight, the slow moving sloth is actually very stealthy.
5. Algae and fungi can grow on a sloth. This is an efficient form of camouflage in the rainforest.
6. Sloth are under threat. On the IUCN Red List the Maned sloth (bradypus torquatus) is categorised as: Vulnerable. While the Pygmy sloth (bradypus pygmaeus) is categorised as Critically endangered.
7. Habitat Destruction. With deforestation and the increase in roads, farms and towns, sloths are now dwelling in isolated segments.. Due to their highly specialised lifestyle, sloths do not adapt well to these changes. They have become victim to power line electrocutions, road collisions and destruction of their habitat.
8. Human Cruelty. Unfortunately, sloths are used for pet trade and taken brutally away from their habitats to be used in tourist photo opportunities.
9. How to help - habitat conservation: Campaigning for underground power lines, planting forest corridors, construction of wildlife bridges across roads and tree surveys to ensure there are plentiful species to support sloths.
10. How to help- education: Education programs in local and international communities to reduce sloth pet trade and tourist photo opportunities.
Further Reading: http://slothconservation.com/ http://www.slothsanctuary.com/ https://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/americas/pygmy-three- toed-sloth- conservation https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/sloth http://www.iucnredlist.org/