Thursday, January 24, 2019

Guarumo Trees and Three-toed Sloth Survival

In an article entitled Where Sloths Find These Branches, Their Family Trees Expand, written by Veronique Greenwood for The New York Times,it talks about a recent study reporting how sloths are more likely to survive with more guarumo trees in their cocoa plantation.   This is especially important because the findings show how a vulnerable species is still capable to adapt and find their ecological niche even when the habitat is disturbed by human activity.

A current PhD student, Mr. Garces-Restrepo, used a map of trees in sloths favored territories to find a connection between density of a specific tree species and the offspring number/survival rate.
This study was done by not only using radio collars that tracked location but also taking DNA samples in order to tell who is producing the most offspring. Throughout this study, 5 adults who died had lower numbers of guarumo tree in the area than those who survived. More so, from using these DNA samples they were able to see what areas the sloths are coming from which leads back to the idea that adults who had more guarumo around them produced more offspring.

1 comment:

  1. Many think that sloths are not very smart species due to their slow movement, however, they are really smart and are excellent swimmers. With humans interfering with their environment, thus posing a threat to their survival. I think it would be a good idea to increase the number of guarumo trees in the sloth environment to prevent the endangerment of species, as the pygmy sloth which are now critically endangered. If planting more guarumo trees helps the population of sloths, then why not?