Bradypus tridactylus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Bradypus tridactylus
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name/s:
English Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth, Pale-throated Sloth

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-05-27
Assessor/s: Chiarello, A. and Moraes-Barros, N.
Reviewer/s: Abba, A.M. & Superina, M.
Contributor/s: Moraes-Barros, N.
Bradypus tridactylus is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution in one of the most pristine areas of the Amazon basin, and its having been recorded as locally relatively abundant.
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: B. tridactylus occurs in the Guyana Shield region, from Venezuela south of the Orinoco (although its distribution crosses at the delta region) into northern Brazil (south to the Amazonas/Solimões), through to Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. It does not occur south of the Amazon river.
Brazil; French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population density estimates vary from 1.7 animals per km² in French Guiana (Taube et al. 1999) to 221 animals per km² in Manaus, Brazil (Chiarello 2008).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Bradypus tridactylus is found in lowland and montane tropical moist forest. It has been recorded on tepuis (table-top mountains). Adult sloths are dark coloured with black spots on shoulders, back and haunches. The head and throat are yellow. Males can be distinguished from females by their dorsal orange-yellow patch with a broad black central line (Hayssen 2009). Both males and females reach reproductive age at three to six years. A single young is born after a gestation of six months (Taube et al. 2001).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this sloth species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Bradypus tridactylus has been recorded from many protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Anderson, R. P. and Handley Jr., C. O. 2001. A new species of three-toed sloth (Mammalia: Xenarthra) from Panama, with a review of the genus Bradypus. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 114: 1-33.

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (comps and eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Chiarello, A. G. 2008. Sloth ecology: an overview of field studies. In: S. F. Vizcaíno and W. L. Loughry (eds), The Biology of the Xenarthra, pp. 269-280. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Eisenberg, J. F. and Redford, K. H. 1999. Mammals of the Neotropics: The Central Neotropics. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Emmons, L. H. and Feer, F. 1997. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide, Second edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, USA.

Engstrom, M. and Lim, B. 2000. Checklist of the mammals of Guyana. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Gardner, A. L. 1993. Order Xenarthra. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Gardner, A. L. 2005. Order Pilosa. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Gardner, A. L. 2007. Magnorder Xenarthra. In: Gardner, A. L. (ed.), Mammals of South America, pp. 127-176. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Gilmore, D., Duarte, D. F. and Peres da Costa, C. 2008. The physiology of two- and three-toed sloths. In: Vizcaíno, S. F. and Loughry, W. J. (eds), The biology of the Xenarthra, pp. 130-142. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Hayssen, V. 2009. Bradypus tridactylus (Pilosa: Bradypodidae). Mammalian Species 839: 1-9.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2011).

Moraes-Barros, N., Giorgi, A.P., Silva, S. and Morgante, J. S. 2010. Reevaluation of the geographical distribution of Bradypus tridactylus Linnaeus, 1758 and B. variegatus Schinz, 1825. Edentata 11(1): 53-61.

Taube, E., Keravec, J., Vié, J.-C. and Duplantier, J.-M. 2001. Reproductive biology and postnatal development in sloths, Bradypus and Choloepus: review with original data from the field (French Guiana) and from the captivity. Mammalian Review 31(3): 173-188.

Taube, E., Vié, J.-C., Fournier, P., Genty, C. and Duplantier, J.-M. 1999. Distribution of two sympatric species of sloths (Choleopus didactylus and Bradypus tridactylus) along the Sinnamary River, French Guiana. Biotropica 31: 686–691.

Wetzel, R. M. 1982. Systematics, distribution, ecology, and conservation of South American edentates. In: M. A. Mares and H. H. Genoways (eds), Mammalian Biology in South America, pp. 345–375. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Citation: Chiarello, A. and Moraes-Barros, N. 2011. Bradypus tridactylus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 21 April 2014.
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