|Biological Diversity 2003|
Photos and Phun
photo courtesy of http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/paulaximenes/sloth.htm
UNEP World Conservation
Introduction to the maned sloth
toed sloths are called such for the three long claws they have on the
paws of their fore and hindlimbs. Three-toed sloths do not walk well
on the ground, but are exceptionally good swimmers. They spend most
of their lives hanging upside down in trees, even giving birth upside
down. Even more interesting the sloth leaves the treetops every eight
days to come down to the ground to deficate (Myers,1999). Sloths are
slow moving but can be very territorial and will slash rivals with their
sharp claws if threatened. The maned sloth is a member of the three-toed
sloth family. They are covered with long, shaggy fur made up of thick
hairs with longitudinal grooves. The grooves in the individual hairs
contain algal cells that give the coat a greenish cast (Myers, 1999).
Maned sloths have tan fur with a black mane on shoulders and the back
of their necks.
The maned sloth is an endangered species. Its status on the United States Endangered Species Act list is Red List: EN Alcd (Edentate Specialist Group). It is also classified as EN A1cd on the IUCN list.
Brazillian three-toed sloth is restricted to the Atlantic coastal forests
of eastern Brazil in the states of Bahia, Espirito Santo, and Rio de
Janeiro. Population figures are unavailable. Habitat loss in the Atlantic
Forest of Brazil is caused by overdevelopment and clearance for agriculture.
Isolated from the Amazonian forests to the north and west, the Atlantic
Forest ranks among the top five global biodiversity hotspots partly
due to its high number of endemic species. Today, the Atlantic Forest
is reduced to less than five percent of its original area (Villa-Lobos,1998).
The area of the Mata Atlantica where the sloth lives has the highest
human population in Brazil (UNEP). The maned sloth was previously hunted
for its meat, but is now protected by law and poaching does not seem
to prove a problem (Ximines).
However, population numbers were lowered due to early hunting and now
continue to fall greatly as overdevelopment and deforestation continue
throughout the Mata Atlantica (UNEP).
123Spot. January 3 2003. Sloth: Maned Sloth. http://www.123spot.com/AnimalDirectory/sloth2.html Accessed March 30, 2003.
ENN Daily News. Sept 2, 1997. Treetop Walkway Designed to Protect Brazilian Forest. www.wms.org/amazon/treetop_walk1.txt Accessed March 30, 2003.
IUCN World Conservation Union. 2003. Home page. http://www.iucn.org Accessed March 2003.
Jansa, Sharon. 1996 January 18. Bradypus torquatus. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/bradypus/ b._torquatus$narrative.html Accessed March 14,2003.
Phillip. 1999 June 12. Bradypodidae three toed sloths http://animaldiversity.unmz.umich.edu/chordata/mammalia/xenarthra/bradypodidae.html
UNEP WCMC. 2001 October 30. Maned Sloth-Bradypus torquatus. http://www.unep-wcmc.org/index.html?http://www.unep-wcmc.org/species/data/species_sheets/manedslo.htm~main. Accessed March 25, 2003.
United States Agency for International Development. (date?) Homepage. http://www.usaid.embaixada-americana.org.br/ Accessed March 30, 2003.
US Fish & Wildlife Service. 2003. Homepage.http://endangered.fws.gov/ Accessed March 17, 2003.
Jane. 1998. February. Biological Conservation Newsletter. No. 176. http://rathbun.si.edu/bcn/issue/176.cfm
World Wildlife Fund. 2003. Homepage. www.worldwildlife.org/ Accessed March 17,2003.
Ximines, Paula. Brazilian Three-Toed Sloth. Date unknown. http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/paulaximenes/sloth.htm Accessed March 30, 2003.
deButts & Ryan Peck
Chicken • Aloe Vera •
Lobster • Bacillus anthracis •
• Blue-headed Wrasse
Octopus • Botflies • Hyacinth Macaw
• Indiana Bat •
Leafy Sea Dragon
• Maned Sloth
• Platypus • Rafflesia •
• Spanish Dancer
• St. Croix
Ground Lizard • Tomatoes • Vampire Squid
This website is part of a Biology 226 class project on the conservation of global biodiversity.