Abstract # 184:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


LESSONS LEARNED FROM CAPTIVE LORISES: OPPORTUNITIES FOR LINKING CAPTIVE POPULATIONS TO CONSERVATION PROGRAMS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

H. M. Fitch-Snyder1 and U. Streicher1,2
1California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis , Davis, CALIFORNIA 95616-8542, USA, 2Endangered Asian Species Trust, Stag Gates House, 63-64 The Avenue, Southhampton, SO17 1XS
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     In North America, lorises have been kept in zoos, primate centers and as pets for over 127 years. We analyzed historical records of 791 slow and pygmy lorises (Nycticebus sp.) to determine population trends throughout their captive history. Increases and declines were influenced by different historical levels of understanding of loris biology, taxonomy and husbandry. Captive management priorities also changed in response to an increased awareness of conservation challenges in the wild. We looked at information gathered on these captive lorises including genetic, behavioral and reproductive research along with breeding programs aiming at the preservation of genetic diversity. We then considered the conservation situation for Nycticebus in Southeast Asia. All loris taxa are classified as “Endangered” and populations in the wild are rapidly declining. During the past fifteen years, an increasing number of rescue centers and reintroduction programs for lorises are trying to target the problems faced by the wild populations in the source countries. However, rescue centers are often not in a position to conduct in-depth research. Loris ecology is still comparatively poorly known making successful reintroduction very difficult. We suggest using part of the current captive population in North America to once again establish a research and breeding colony to study loris ecology and maintain direct links with field conservation projects, thus contributing more effectively to loris conservation in the wild.