The pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) has garnered much interest since being described in 2001 as a new species, which occurs on a single island, Escudo de Veraguas, Panama. Recent work has found that the species has a highly diverse eukaryotic community in its hair, activity, and sleep patterns markedly different from other three-toed sloths in the region, and that some individuals live in nonmangrove areas as well as in the mangroves on the island. This critically endangered species is being threatened by several factors, including habitat degradation due to timber harvesting, increased development, and collecting. An accurate understanding of the ecological needs of pygmy sloths is imperative to forming a comprehensive and successful conservation strategy.
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Vol. 96 • No. 4