How safe and secure is the sloth’s future? Sadly, this gentle and lovable creature is in trouble. This article will discuss the question, “Are sloths endangered?” and will hopefully provide an answer, as well as some information for you. I am going to discuss the different species of sloths that exist, which sloths are in the most trouble, some of the threats that sloths face, why May 21st, 2021 is an important date, and what we can all do to help the wonderful sloth.
Six Species, One Special Mammal
There are six species of sloths that can be found living in Central and South America, which are as follows:
- Brown-throated sloth
- Hoffman’s two-toed sloth
- Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth
- Maned sloth
- Pale-throated sloth
- Pygmy three-toed sloth
Living On The Brink Of Extinction
All six species of sloths presented in the previous paragraph are facing numerous threats, and two of them are in very real danger of becoming extinct. The pygmy three-toed sloth is the sloth facing the greatest threat of extinction. This particular sloth is only found on a little island near Panama in the Caribbean. According to The Sloth Conservation Foundation, the pygmy sloth “was only identified as a new species in 2001” … and “these little sloths are considered to be one of the most critically endangered mammals in the world.” A world without the pygmy sloth would be a much sadder one.
The maned sloth, although not considered as endangered as the pygmy sloth, is also facing the threat of extinction. According to The Sloth Conservation Foundation, “These elusive creatures now only exist in a tiny strip of Atlantic forest on the coast of Brazil and are currently listed as vulnerable…” As this sloth’s habitat continues to be destroyed, and as poaching of them persists, the maned sloth gets closer and closer to being gone forever.
While not listed as critically endangered or vulnerable, the four other sloth species all face threats, as well.
It’s A Dangerous Life Being A Sloth
Generally speaking, some of the threats that are faced by sloths include:
- Deforestation. This is a huge threat to sloths. As these trees get cut down, the sloths lose their homes as well as their source of food.
- Vehicle collisions. Sloths do occasionally make their way to the ground (and walk across roads) and because they move so slowly, they are in danger of being hit by vehicles.
- Electrocutions. Sloths use power lines to go from one part of a forest to another.
- Actions by humans such as poaching and illegal trafficking. The UN environment programme states that, “Organizations responsible for the protection of the species in Central America and Colombia estimate that between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of trafficked sloths die in the process.” How incomprehensible and barbaric!
What Is The Big Deal About May 21st, 2021?
Every year in May (on the third Friday) is a day that has been established as Endangered Species Day. Next year, that third Friday falls on May 21st. What is this day all about? Well, in 2006, S. RES. 431 was presented, details of which can be found here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/sres431 . On that website, an overview is provided, reading as follows, “S.Res. 431 (109th): A resolution designating May 11, 2006, as “Endangered Species Day”, and encouraging the people of the United States to become educated about, and aware of, threats to species, success stories in species recovery, and the opportunity to promote species conservation worldwide.”
As Endangered Species Day 2021 approaches, I encourage you to think about the critically endangered pygmy sloth, the vulnerable maned sloth, and the rest of the threatened sloths. In addition, I also encourage you to think about all the endangered, vulnerable, and threatened animals that we are so blessed to share this planet with. Think about the role they play in the earth’s ecosystem. Recognize how important they are to have around. Imagine how much sadder a future without them would be. Finally, do something (even something little) to help. I will present some ideas for you to consider in the next paragraph about helping sloths, but there certainly is nothing wrong with helping any animal that needs it.
What Can You Do To Help The Sloth?
There are so many things that each of us can do to help. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Educate yourself about them. There is a wealth of information out there that is available for you to access. Read up on why sloths are in trouble and what needs to be done in order for them to be safe and secure.
- Visit websites of organizations that are committed to helping sloths and see if you can become involved.
- Live your life in a more environmentally friendly way.
- Support ethical companies and businesses that follow both environmentally friendly and animal friendly practices.
- Never buy products that have been made from threatened, vulnerable, or endangered species.
- Consider donating to worthwhile organizations that are working to provide sloths with a safe and secure future.
- Educate others about how they can learn about sloths and help them, too.
- Continue reading my All About Sloths website as I plan to publish more articles, add more content, and provide more information.
I love this quote from The Sloth Conservation Foundation, which says, “Every single person has the power to save endangered species. The way that each of us shops, eats, and the small choices that we make in our everyday lives all influence the likelihood of many species surviving. Please don’t ever underestimate the collective impact of your daily actions!”
The Sad Reality For Sloths, With Hope For Their Future
So, are sloths endangered? The sad reality is that all sloths are threatened, some are vulnerable, and some are critically endangered. In this article, I listed the six species of sloths, discussed which ones are in the most trouble, as well as which ones are in less trouble (but are still in danger, too). I also talked about Endangered Species Day, which is coming up on May 21st, 2021. Finally, I discussed how important it is to look after the endangered, vulnerable, and threatened animals on our planet. One small action taken by many people can produce incredible results! Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to submit them below. And please be kind to animals, and to each other.
If you’d like a little more sloth in your life or are thinking about a gift for someone else, check out my Product Reviews for some ideas. Also, be sure to watch for my online sloth merchandise store, which I am planning to launch in 2021.