SLOTHS
Pale-throated three-toed sloth
Bradypus tridactylus
RANGE

B. tridactylus occurs in the Guyana Shield region, from Venezuela south of the Orinoco (although its distribution crosses at the delta region) into northern Brazil (south to the Amazonas/Solimões), through to Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. It does not occur south of the Amazon River.


DESCRIPTION

This three-toed sloth has arboreal habits. It can be identified based on its grayish, long fur with whitish spots on the back and arms; the small round head with small ears; short, white hair on face and throat. In contrast to B. variegatus, this species does not have a black mask around the eyes. The forelimbs bear three digits with large claws and are longer than the hindlegs, which also have three digits. The tail is very short and stumplike. Adult males have a black and orange spot (called speculum) between the shoulder blades.

HABITAT

B. tridactylus is found in lowland and montane tropical moist forest. It has been recorded on “tepuis” (table-top mountains).

BIOLOGY

Both males and females reach reproductive age at three to six years. A single young is born after a gestation of six months (Taube et al., 2001; Gilmore et al., 2008). Population density estimates vary from 1.7 animals per km2 in French Guiana (Taube et al., 1999) to 2.21 animals per hectare (or 221 animals per km2) in Manaus, Brazil (Chiarello, 2008).

THREATS

There are no major threats to this sloth species.

CONSERVATION

The pale-throated three-toed sloth is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution in one of the most pristine areas of the Amazon basin, and its having been recorded as locally relatively abundant. It has been recorded from many protected areas.

REFERENCES

Additional information and a complete list of references can be found in: Superina, M., T. Plese, N. Moraes-Barros and A.M. Abba (2010): The 2010 Sloth Red List Assessment. Edentata 11(2): 115-134. This article is available here.

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