Abstract # 19:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009 11:15 AM-11:25 AM: Session 2 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


COMPARISONS OF CAPTIVE REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS OF PYGMY AND SLOW LORISES (NYCTICEBUS PYGMAEUS AND NYCTICEBUS SPP. ) THROUGH ANALYSIS OF STUDBOOK RECORDS

H. Fitch-Snyder1,2
1San Diego Zoo, P.O. Box 120551, San Diego, California 92112-0551, USA, 2Loris Conservation International
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Historical studbook data provides detailed records of captive Nycticebus lorises in North America beginning with the first known import in 1881. I used SPARKS software to analyze records of 746 lorises [232 pygmy lorises (N. pygmaeus) and combined records of 514 slow lorises (N. coucang, N. bengalensis, N javanicus, and their hybrids] to compare pygmy loris reproductive success with that of the larger-sized Nycticebus taxa. Slow lorises have reproduced in captivity for 39 years compared to only 21 years for pygmy lorises. However, pygmy lorises have produced 169 offspring compared to 192 in all other Nycticebus combined. Positive reproductive factors in pygmy lorises are litter size and maternal fecundity. Mean litter size in pygmy lorises is 1.6 [range 1-4] compared to 1.0 [range 1-2] in slow lorises. Pygmy loris dams can also produce more total offspring. The maximum number from one dam was 17, whereas the maximum for slow lorises was only seven. Reproductive success is an important factor contributing to present population numbers. Only 22 slow lorises currently remain in North America, and most are post-reproductive. Although there are presently 74 pygmy lorises, annual deaths are now beginning to outnumber births. It is too late for the slow loris population to recover without new imports. However, pygmy lorises still have potential for long-term survival with proper captive management.