The Pygmy Three-Toed-Sloth, also known as Bradypus pygmaeus scientifically, has been classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. “They are restricted to one area from Isla Escudo de Veraguas in the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama” (“Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)” (a)). The island is very small measuring to about 5 square kilometers in area. These sloths are usually found in red mangroves at sea level. As of now the Pygmy three-toed-sloth are critically endangered and weak law enforcement, deforestation, and poachers are to blame.
The Pygmy three-toed- sloths are described to have buff-colored faces with dark circles that surround the eye and go outwards to their temples. Like all sloths, they are always in doldrums which can be very unbeneficial to them. They have clay-orange fur that covers their face and their hair is long and bushy. “Long hair hangs forward to the forehead, giving the impression of a hood” (Grzimek 161). Their outer fur has coated an alga that is used as camouflage to avoid predators. If they were attacked, they have a high probability of surviving due to their ability to heal from grievous wounds. These sloths have a total of 18 teeth, 10 coming from their upper jaw. Similar to other sloths their body temperature regulation is imperfect (“Bradypus pygmaeus pygmy three-toed sloth” (a)).
Since they are critically endangered conservation efforts are now put into action. The main reasons why they are endangered are because a growing amount of tourists who visit the secluded island are thought to hunt the sloths. The cutting of their habitat also plays a factor in their endangerment. Their habitat, which consists of mangroves are their only means of survival in the island. It’s been speculated that, “dwarfism in B. pygmaeus may be related to foraging in mangroves” (Anderson, Handley 26). The enforcement of the island is also to blame of their growing endangerment. The current law enforcers are inadequate and are one of the causes of the critically endangered sloth.
The main reason why the sloth population has been decreasing would have to be the cutting of the red mangroves in which they live in. In March 2012, a group of scientists from ZSL went to the island to conduct a population survey of the sloths. While scientists were in the area, “they encountered 72 sloths and observed some mangrove cutting, estimating that there may be fewer than 100 individuals within mangrove habitats” (“Pygmy Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)” (b)). Formerly, their population was still distinct but ever since the cuttings of the mangroves their population went from 300 to just 70. Personally, I think that due to the fact that they are one level away from becoming extinct, conservation efforts regarding the mangroves should be taken to the extremes.
Another factor that decreases the population could be the tourists who visit the already small island that the sloths currently reside in. Some report that...