Javan Slow Loris, Nycticebus javanicus

The Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus) is a species of primate that can be found in central and western areas on the island of Java, Indonesia. This species resides in a number of habitats including primary and secondary forests, bamboo forests, and plantations at elevations between sea level and 5,200 feet. This species was formally described in 1812 by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, but was reclassified as a subspecies of Bradylemur tardigradus in 1840. It was not until 2000 that it would be recognized as a distinct species again.

The Javan slow loris reaches an average weight between 1.2 and 1.5 pounds and body measurements taken from six individuals saved from the illegal wildlife trade showed an average body length of 11.5 inches. It is yellowish grey in color over much of its body, with cream fur occurring along its neck, shoulders, and head. The face and back hold dark stripes that fork into a diamond shape on the top of the head and near the eyes. This species holds two morphotypes, which are sometimes considered subspecies that are separated by the length of their fur. The javanicus morphotype has shorter fur than the ornatus morphotype and is more lightly colored.

Like other loris species, the Javan slow loris resides in canopies of trees, but it has also been observed moving across open aground in areas with fragmented forests. It is solitary in nature, but can be seen in pairs and sleeping in groups on branches. This species eats a larger variety of foods than other lorises including fruit, seeds, lizards, and tree gums. It communicates using a loud whistle vocalization that is unique to loris species.

The Javan slow loris is mainly threatened by poaching, capture for the illegal trade in wildlife, and by habitat loss, all of which have caused significant declines in population numbers. This species is protected by law and is listed in CITES Appendix I and it appears in some protected areas. It appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Critically Endangered.”

Image Caption: Javan Slow Loris (Nycticebus javanicus) at Kobe Oji Zoo, Japan. Credit: OpenCage/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)