Big-eyed Borneo slow loris tagged for first time

July 17, 2011
Malaysian wildlife researchers have tagged a Bornean slow loris for the first time as part of efforts to find out more about the nocturnal primate known for its big eyes and rare toxic bite.

Malaysian wildlife researchers have tagged a Bornean slow loris for the first time as part of efforts to find out more about the nocturnal primate known for its big eyes and rare toxic bite.

The researchers in Sabah state on fitted a radio-collar on a recently caught slow loris -- a that is threatened by the illegal pet trade -- to enable them to study its behaviour.

It will give scientists a valuable insight into the animal's habits, such as where it sleeps and how it hunts for insects, lizards and other prey, they said in a statement on Sunday.

"As little is known about the Bornean slow loris, particularly in Sabah, any information collected... through tracking through the forest will be important in understanding the species," Benoit Goossens, director of the Danau Girang Field Centre that is spearheading the study, said in the statement.

"With this study, we also hope to raise the awareness in Sabah on the importance of protecting nocturnal primates as much as protecting , proboscis monkeys, sun bears and elephants," Goossens added.

Laurentius Ambu, director of the Sabah Wildlife Department, said the Bornean slow loris was the second most common owned as pets in Asia, after macaques. They also face threats from the medicinal and ornamental trade.

"Although slow lorises are protected by law from international and commercial trade, the greatest growing threat to slow lorises is the illegal ," Ambu said in the statement.

"Lorises face extremely high in markets and transport of them, due to starvation, dehydration and infections from dental health injuries, as their teeth are removed to increase their sales," Ambu added.

Goossens said it was hard to estimate how many Bornean slow lorises, which are indigenous to the island shared by Malaysia and Indonesia, were left in the wild.

He said no surveys had been conducted on the population but researchers hope they will be able to trap more slow lorises high up in the jungle canopy to fit them with collars.

"We hope that this can be a long-term study," he said.

Despite conservation efforts, poaching and logging threaten the survival of animal and plant species in Borneo's vast jungle, which is home to many endangered species, such as pygmy elephants and rhinos.

Explore further: Poaching may destroy last Sumatran rhinos

Related Stories

Poaching may destroy last Sumatran rhinos

March 19, 2006

Poaching has greatly reduced Malaysia's population of Sumatran rhinoceroses, but a small group of 13 are holding on, says the World Wildlife Fund.

First picture of wild Borneo rhino taken

June 15, 2006

The World Wildlife Fund says the first-ever picture of a rhino in the wild on the island of Borneo has been taken using a motion-triggered camera trap.

Malaysia tracks orangutans with implants

November 24, 2009

Malaysian wildlife authorities are using electronic implants to keep track of orangutans in a bid to protect the endangered apes after they are freed into the wild, an official said Tuesday.

Elephant data informs habitat protection

February 24, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Collaborative Cardiff University research tracking the movements of three Bornean elephants will inform protection of their habitat.

Recommended for you

Scientists discover key clues in turtle evolution

September 2, 2015

A research team led by NYIT scientist Gaberiel Bever has determined that a 260-million year-old fossil species found in South Africa's Karoo Basin provides a long awaited glimpse into the murky origins of turtles.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

braindead
not rated yet Jul 17, 2011
"Lorises face extremely high mortality rates in markets and transport of them, due to starvation, dehydration and infections from dental health injuries, as their teeth are removed to increase their sales,"

What some people will do to have a "cuddly pet" is disgusting. How about we pull their teeth and keep them all in a small box until they die of dehydration!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.