The Slender Loris is a small, nocturnal primate that is native to the tropical forests of southern India and Sri Lanka. They are also known as the Loris, and they belong to the family Lorisidae, which includes several other species of slow-moving primates.
Slender Lorises are about the size of a squirrel, with a long tail and large, round eyes. They have dense, woolly fur that is usually gray or brown, and they have distinctive markings around their eyes that look like a mask. They are also known for their long, slender fingers and toes, which they use to grip branches and climb trees.
Slender Lorises are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees. They are nocturnal and feed mainly on insects, but they may also eat small vertebrates and fruits. They are also known for their slow movement and ability to remain motionless for long periods, which helps them avoid predators.
Grey Slender Loris
|1||Common Name||Slender Loris|
|2||Scientific Name||Loris tardigradus|
|4||Color||Greyish-brown to reddish-brown|
|5||Height / girth||Small and slender with a girth of around 6 inches|
|6||Tail length||Around 1 inch|
|7||Height till shoulder||Around 4-6 inches|
|8||Average weight||4-5 ounces|
|9||Food habits||Insectivorous, feeds on insects, spiders, and small vertebrates|
|10||Habitat||Tropical and subtropical forests of India and Sri Lanka|
|11||Interesting facts||Slender Lorises are nocturnal, arboreal primates that are known for their slow and deliberate movements. They have large, round eyes that enable them to see well in the dark, and they are able to rotate their heads nearly 180 degrees. Slender Lorises also have a toxic bite, which they use for self-defense.|
The Grey Slender Loris is a captivating primate that faces many challenges in its struggle to survive. With its striking grey fur and large, expressive eyes, this small, nocturnal primate is a true marvel of nature. However, its very existence is threatened by habitat loss and hunting for traditional medicine and food. The venomous bite that the Grey Slender Loris uses to stun its prey is a unique and fascinating adaptation, but unfortunately, this primate’s remarkable traits may be lost forever if we don’t act to protect it. With the Grey Slender Loris currently classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
Male and female Slender Lorises are similar in size, with an average body length of 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) and a weight of around 6 to 12 ounces (170 to 340 grams). However, males are slightly larger than females.
Slender Lorises are known for their unique behaviour of slow and deliberate movement, and they move around by leaping from one branch to another. They are also known for their big eyes, which help them to navigate in the dark. Slender loris have a gland on their elbow, which produces a strong-smelling odour used for marking their territories. They are also capable of producing a toxic secretion from their glands, which they use as a defence mechanism against predators.
Slender Lorises are primarily insectivores and feed on a variety of insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and spiders. They have a slow metabolism and can survive on a diet of very few insects. They also occasionally feed on small reptiles, bird eggs, and plant gums.
Slender Lorises are primarily found in the tropical rainforests, scrublands, and deciduous forests of India and Sri Lanka. In India, they are found in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and also in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. They are arboreal animals and spend most of their time in trees, preferring dense vegetation where they can hide during the day and come out to hunt at night.
Slender Loris is considered vulnerable in India. The Grey Slender Loris, is “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The primary threats faced by Slender Lorises in India are habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation, conversion of forests for agriculture, and human settlements. In addition, they are also threatened by hunting for their meat, body parts used in traditional medicine, and the illegal pet trade.
Estimating the exact population numbers of Slender Lorises is challenging due to their elusive nature and nocturnal habits. However, studies suggest that their population has declined significantly in recent years. In India, the population of Slender Lorises is estimated to be between 5,000 to 10,000 individuals, although these numbers may not be accurate due to the difficulty in assessing their populations.
Slender Lorises are primarily found in the southern states of India, particularly in the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats region, which is a biodiversity hotspot. Several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India are home to Slender Lorises, along with other endemic and endangered species.
Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is a protected area located in the southern part of the Western Ghats and is home to both the Red and Grey Slender Lorises.
Anamalai Tiger Reserve is a protected area located in the Coimbatore and Tiruppur districts of Tamil Nadu, and is home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, along with other endemic species such as the Lion-tailed Macaque and the Slender Loris.
Periyar National Park is located in the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats and is known for its rich biodiversity, including the Slender Loris, along with other species such as the Indian Elephant and the Bengal Tiger.
Silent Valley National Park is located in the Nilgiri Hills of the Western Ghats and is home to several rare and endemic species, including the Lion-tailed Macaque and the Slender Loris.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu and is home to several species of animals, including the Indian Elephant, Indian Bison, and the Slender Loris.
They are also found in the forests of Eastern Ghats of India.
To protect the Grey Slender Loris and other loris species in India, several steps can be taken. These include:
Habitat conservation: The primary threat to lorises is habitat loss due to deforestation and other forms of human encroachment. To protect loris populations, it is essential to conserve their habitat by establishing and maintaining protected areas, such as national parks and wildlife reserves.
Enforcement of wildlife laws: Hunting and trade of loris species are illegal in India, but enforcement of these laws can be challenging. Effective law enforcement can help reduce the demand for loris meat, body parts, and traditional medicines.
Awareness and education: Raising public awareness about the importance of conserving lorises and their habitat can help promote conservation efforts. Education programs can be targeted towards local communities, schools, and tourists who visit national parks.
Research and monitoring: Research on the behavior, ecology, and population status of lorises can help guide conservation efforts. Regular monitoring of loris populations can also help detect changes in their population size and distribution.
Rehabilitation and release: In cases where lorises are rescued from illegal trade or captivity, rehabilitation and release programs can help reintroduce them into the wild and support their recovery.
These steps, when implemented together, can help protect the Grey Slender Loris and other loris species in India from threats and ensure their survival in the wild.