Slender Loris are small nocturnal mammals native to southern part of India and neighboring Sri Lanka. They have been listed as an endangered species.
In a first, India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu has notified the country’s first-ever sanctuary for Slender Loris mammals covering an area of 11,806 hectares.
Slender Loris are small nocturnal mammals that spend most of their life on trees. Weighing an average of 275 grams, the mammal is about 25 centimeters long with long, thin arms.
Native to the southern part of India and neighboring Sri Lanka, Slender Loris has been listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
According to an official statement from the Tamil Nadu government, the species acts as a biological predator to pests of agricultural crops, and has a wide range of ecological roles to play in the terrestrial ecosystem.
The notified sanctuary area falls in the Karur and Dindigul districts of the state.
“Realizing the need for immediate conservation of this species, the Government of Tamil Nadu had made an announcement on the floor of the Assembly that ‘India’s first ever Wildlife Sanctuary for Slender Loris shall be set up in Karur and Dindigul in Tamil Nadu’”, the official release said.
While there’s no official statistic on their number, environmentalists have long pointed out the threats faced by the species. The major threat comes from poachers who are driven by the superstitious belief that animals have magical and medicinal powers.