A translocation experiment for the conservation of maned sloths, Bradypus torquatus (Xenarthra, Bradypodidae)
Chiarello, A.G., Chivers, D.J., Bassi, C., Maciel, M.A.F., Moreira, L.S. and Bazzalo, M., 2004. A translocation experiment for the conservation of maned sloths, Bradypus torquatus (Xenarthra, Bradypodidae). Biological Conservation, 118(4), pp.421-430.
The maned sloth is a poorly known species endemic to the highly fragmented and disturbed Brazilian Atlantic forest. As this species has a strictly forest habitat and low dispersion ability, it is susceptible to local extinctions in small and isolated fragments. The project started in 1994, translocating stranded sloths found within or nearby urban zones into forest reserves located in Santa Teresa, state of Espı́rito Santo. Five translocated, radio-collared adults were monitored monthly from periods lasting from 10 months to 3 years after release and data on activity budgets, diet, and home range size were analysed. Results showed that moving and feeding time and distances travelled daily were not significantly related to translocation time (i.e., time, in days, after release). One female, monitored for three years showed, however, a steady and significant decrease in time spent moving from the first to the second to the third year of monitoring (regression Analysis; p<0.05). The distances it travelled/day also decreased throughout this same period, but results were not significant (ANOVA; p>0.05). Sloths explored the area more intensively in the first 6 months after release, but minor changes in home ranges were detected even after 3 years. Results suggest that maned sloths are amenable to translocation experiments provided that source and release sites are floristic and ecologically similar. To fully access the success of such experiments though, it is recommended that sloths be monitored for periods longer than 1 year.
Key words: Bradypus, torquatus, ecology, biology, diet, conservation