Sri Lanka UK researchers in bid to save rare loris

Sept 07, 2011 (LBO) – Researchers from Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom are devising ways to save a rare primate that is threatened with extinction from habitat loss, including a species that was ˜rediscovered’ two years ago. The University of Colombo, Open University of Sri Lanka and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is surveying over 100 forest patches to gather data on the Sri Lanka red slender loris, (Loris tardigradus) a shy, nocturnal primate with large eyes.

A ˜national conservation strategy’ was being developed for the loris by the researchers with Sri Lanka’s forest and wildlife protection agencies and the ministry of environment.

UK high commission a statement quoted Craig Turner, a ZSL researcher as saying that the strategy would be published this year, when Turner and Saman Gamage, a Sri Lanka researcher met the UK envoy to Colombo, John Rankin.

A highland subspecies, the Horton Plains slender loris (Loris tardigradus nycticeboides) was ˜rediscovered’ by researches in 2009, and is considered one of a handful of most threatened primate species in the world.

Researchers have completed about 1,000 surveys. The group recently started a small reforestation project backed by the