Choloepus hoffmanni


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Choloepus hoffmanni
Species Authority: W. Peters, 1858
Common Name/s:
English Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth
Spanish Perezoso, Perico Ligero, Unau
French Unau D'Hoffmann
Taxonomic Notes: Five subspecies are recognized by Gardner and Naples (2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-04
Assessor/s: Plese, T. & Chiarello, A.
Reviewer/s: Abba, A.M. & Superina, M.
C. hoffmanni is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, its occurrence in a number of protected areas, its tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. However, because of ongoing deforestation, the northern population (nominate subspecies) of this species could potentially be assessed as Near Threatened.
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern
1996 Data Deficient

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: C. hoffmanni has two disjunct populations. The northernmost population ranges from Nicaragua south into western Venezuela. The southern population is found from north-central Peru through extreme western Brazil (south-western Amazonas and probably Acre states) to central Bolivia. There is a doubtful, outlying record for this species from the Rio Aripuanã, Mato Grosso state, Brazil (Fonseca and Aguiar 2004). Its range within Brazil is unclear, and further surveys are needed. This species ranges from sea level to 3,300 m asl in Costa Rica; up to 1,925 m asl in Panama; and up to 1,150 m asl in the southern Andes of Venezuela. In Colombia, the species is found in the biogeographical regions of the Andean zone, Caribbean and Chocó, more specifically in the departments of Cauca, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Nariño, Quindío, Sucre, Valle del Cauca, and Santanderes from sea level up to 3,000 m asl (Alberico et al. 2000; Moreno 2003; Acevedo and Sanchez 2007).
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


C. hoffmanni occurs at densities of 1.05 animals per hectare on Barro Colorado Island, Panamá (Montgomery and Sunquist 1975). It has been found at densities of 0.3 to 1.5 animals per hectare in the Andean region of Colombia, while densities in the lowlands of northern Colombia were 0.2 to 0.83 individuals per hectare (Acevedo and Sanchez 2007; Alvarez 2004).

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: C. hoffmanni is largely found in lowland and montane tropical forest, both deciduous and mixed-deciduous. In Central America, it occurs in evergreen and semi-deciduous tropical moist forest, as well as in secondary forest, but it is rare or absent in lowland dry forest. In Costa Rica, it is able to use cocoa plantations (Theobroma cacao) as habitat and frequently ventures into relatively open pastures in search of isolated feeding trees (Vaughan et al. 2007). It can also occur in dry grassland with thorny shrubs and trees (Nicaragua, Genoways and Timm 2003). These sloths are rather solitary. Their herbivore-omnivore diet consists mainly of leaves, fruits and sap of some trees.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It appears that there are no major threats to C. hoffmanni at the global level. Nevertheless, populations in the northwestern part of its range, especially in Colombia and Central America, are declining due to severe habitat degradation and fragmentation. Furthermore, they are hunted by indigenous communities. Wild-caught individuals, especially offspring, are sold as pets to tourists in Colombia (Moreno and Plese 2006). This illegal trade is increasing and represents a cause of concern due to its impact on the wild populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: C. hoffmanni is present in many protected areas. It is included in CITES Appendix III for Costa Rica. Further research is needed to establish whether there are taxonomic differences between the two disjunct populations.
Citation: Plese, T. & Chiarello, A. 2011. Choloepus hoffmanni. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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