Slow Loris

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 grey 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.

Slow Loris

SL NOCharacteristicInformation 
1Common NameSlow Loris
2Scientific NameNycticebus spp.
3Length7-15 inches
4ColourVariable, but typically brown or black with white markings
5Height / girthSmall and compact with a girth of around 8-10 inches
6Tail lengthShort or absent
7Height till shoulderAround 10-15 inches
8Average weight1-2 pounds
9Food habitsOmnivorous, feeds on insects, fruits, tree gum, and small vertebrates
10HabitatTropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia
11Interesting factsSlow Lorises have a toxic bite, which they use for self-defense. They are also known for their unique grooming behavior, where they use their venomous saliva to groom their fur and keep it clean. Slow Lorises are often kept as pets, despite being protected by law in many countries, and their popularity as pets has led to their decline in the wild.


The slow loris is a nocturnal primate native to Southeast Asia. There are several species of slow loris, including the Sunda slow loris and the Bengal slow loris.

In terms of colour, slow lorises are typically brown or grey with lighter fur on their undersides. They have round heads, large eyes, and small ears. They are small primates, with an average size of about 8 to 10 inches (20 to 26 cm) in length and a weight of around 1 to 2.5 pounds (0.5 to 1.1 kg).

One of the most distinctive features of the slow loris is their venomous saliva. The slow loris has a specialised gland in its elbow that produces a toxin which it can mix with its saliva and deliver to potential predators through its bite. This is thought to be a defence mechanism to deter predators.

In terms of sexual dimorphism, male and female slow lorises are generally similar in appearance, although males may have slightly larger body sizes than females. Slow lorises are solitary animals, except during mating season when they may come together to mate.

Slow lorises are known for their slow and deliberate movements, which are thought to help them avoid detection by predators. They are also capable of hanging upside down from branches for extended periods of time thanks to their strong grip and specialized ankle joints.

Food Habits

Slow lorises are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet includes fruits, insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They are also known to feed on tree sap and nectar.


Slow lorises are native to Southeast Asia and can be found in a variety of forested habitats, including tropical rainforests, bamboo groves, and mangrove swamps. They are found in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam.

In India, slow lorises are found in the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya, as well as in the southern state of Kerala. They are typically found in tropical rainforests and other dense forested areas.

Vulnerable Species

Slow lorises are listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In India, slow lorises are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, which prohibits their hunting and trade. Despite these protections, slow lorises in India still face threats from habitat loss due to deforestation, as well as from hunting and trapping for the illegal pet trade.

It is difficult to estimate the exact number of slow lorises in India, as they are elusive and difficult to study in the wild. However, surveys have suggested that their populations are declining in many areas. For example, a 2018 survey in the state of Meghalaya found that slow loris populations had declined by over 50% in just 10 years due to habitat loss and hunting.

Protected Areas

The Slow Loris, a small nocturnal primate, is found in several National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India. 

Kaziranga National Park – Located in the state of Assam, Kaziranga National Park is famous for its one-horned rhinoceros and is home to a variety of other wildlife such as tigers, elephants, and water buffaloes.

Manas National Park – Also located in Assam, Manas National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including the Bengal tiger, Indian rhinoceros, and Indian elephant.

Nameri National Park – Situated in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas in Assam, Nameri National Park is known for its population of elephants, tigers, leopards, and other wildlife.

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park – Located in the state of Assam, this national park is a hotspot for birdwatching and is home to several species of migratory birds, as well as other wildlife like tigers, leopards, and elephants.

Mouling National Park – Located in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, this national park is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to several species of flora and fauna, including the Asiatic black bear and the red panda.


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.

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