El único Panamá - Week 26
Welcome to our weekly series about the uniqueness of Panama!
The Pygmy sloths of Panama are considered to be one of the world’s most critically endangered mammals with the last official population count identifying only 79 individuals, according to The Sloth Conservation Foundation. They are located on the remote Isla Escudo de Veraguas and are a dwarfed version of the brown-throated three-fingered sloths found on mainland Panama.They were first described as a distinct species in 2001 based on morphological differences in body size - they are reportedly 40% smaller than the mainland species.
Very little is know about them; how many of them remain, anything about their diet and habitat needs, or an understanding of when and how they reproduce. It is also really not known why and how they became dwarfed on their small island. With the number of remaining pygmy sloths in decline it is important more research and understanding is gained to keep them around.
Sloths mate and give birth in trees, hanging upside down from a branch!