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1 December 2004 Research on the Maned Sloth (Bradypus torquatus) in Bahia, Brazil
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The maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) is one of the two species of sloths found in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, and the only one endemic to this highly disturbed biome. An ecological study of this species has been underway since January 2003 in the Ecoparque de Una, a Private Reserve owned by the Instituto de Estudos Sócio-Ambientais do Sul da Bahia (IESB) in Una, in the state of Bahia. The study is being conducted by Camila Cassano, as part of the requirements for a Master's thesis at the State University of Santa Cruz in Ilhéus, Bahia. The research is being administered by IESB and is financed by the Fundação o Boticário de Proteção à Natureza and Conservação Internacional Brasil.

Three animals have been monitored with radiotelemetry in the primary forest of the Reserve for periods lasting from 12 to 24 months. A further two maned sloths are now being monitored using radio-telemetry in neighboring properties, which include secondary forest and a cocoa plantation shaded by forest canopy trees (cabruca). Data on home range and weekly path length have been collected for all the animals, and data on activity budget, daily path length and diet have been collected for ten hours/month using focal-animal sampling.

The home ranges of the maned sloths have varied from 3 to 5 ha. Leaves from trees of the families Moraceae, Bombacaceae, Myrtaceae, Myristicaceae and Fabaceae have been identified as components of the sloths' diet. Observations on behavior and traveling have shown that the sloths are both diurnal and nocturnal, and spend more than 80% of their time resting. Our observations and reports from local people indicate that the sloths use secondary forests and cabrucas. Monitoring will continue at least until mid-2006, particularly to examine the relative use of primary forest, secondary forest, and cabruca.


[1] Camila Cassano, Instituto de Estudos Sócio- Ambientais no Sul da Bahia (IESB), Rua Major Homem Del Rey 147, Cidade Nova, Ilhéus 45650-000, Bahia, Brazil, and Programa de Pós- Graduação em Zoologia, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC), Rodovia Ilhéus-Itabuna Km 16, Ilhéus 45662-000, Bahia, Brazil.

Camila Cassano "Research on the Maned Sloth (Bradypus torquatus) in Bahia, Brazil," Edentata 2004(6), 56, (1 December 2004).
Published: 1 December 2004

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