Nearly Extinct Loris Needs New Trees to Survive
The Horton Plains slender loris was believed to possibly be extinct. It was only rediscovered in 2009, and just about 80 remain in the wild. It has lost the majority of its habitat–Montane Evergreen forests–so a reforestation project has been started to help plant new trees. In the highlands of Sri Lanka new trees will be planted between the remaining patches of forest the lorises lives in. Hopefully the new trees will grow and fill in some of the empty fragmented areas so there will be new habitat for the nearly extinct creatures. The project seeks to raise about $8,000 to plant ten acres of new trees in the loris mountain habitat. So far they have raised just about $100. If you want to donate, visit their loris page.
Regrowing parts of the forest habitat will also help a species of leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya), the ‘shaggy bear monkey’ (Trachypithecus vetulus monticola), the endemic Nillu rat (Rattus montanus), and the Sri Lanka spiny mouse.
A loris is only about eight inches long and weighs about eleven ounces. Their forests have been cut down for firewood and agriculture, such as tea farming. Conservation biologist Craig Turner said, “There’s no means for these lorises to move between the [remaining] forest patches. In terms of breeding and finding mates, it is very difficult for them. The real focus now has to be on the remaining forest areas and looking at how we can enhance and protect them, and also reconnect them to one another. ” (Source: National Geographic)
Image Credit: C Mahanayakage