Nycticebus coucang 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Lorisidae

Scientific Name: Nycticebus coucang (Boddaert, 1785)
Common Name(s):
English Greater Slow Loris, Slow Loris, Sunda Slow Loris
French Loris lent
Spanish Loris Lento
Nycticebus brachycephalus Sody, 1949
Nycticebus buku Robinson, 1917
Nycticebus coucang ssp. coucang (Boddaert, 1785)
Nycticebus hilleri Stone & Rehn, 1902
Nycticebus insularis Robinson, 1917
Nycticebus malaiana Anderson, 1881
Nycticebus natunae Stone & Rehn, 1902
Nycticebus sumatrensis Ludeking, 1867
Nycticebus tardigradus (Raffles, 1821)
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon formerly included N. bengalensis, N. javanicus, and N. menagensis as subspecies. A small hybridization zone is found between this species and Nycticebus bengalensis in southern peninsular Thailand.

Further taxonomic revision may be necessary (Lim et al. 2007, A. Nekaris unpubl. data). Some authors consider the form from the Natuna islands to be a unique subspecies, N. c. natunae (Chasen 1935, Indrawan and Rangkuti 2001).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Nekaris, A. & Streicher, U.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Vulnerable as there has probably a more than 30% reduction in population over three generations (approximately 21-24 years) based on harvesting for the pet trade and extensive habitat loss.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in Indonesia (Sumatra, Batam and Galang in the Riau Archipelago, and Pulau Tebingtinggi and Bunguran in the North Natuna Islands), Malaysia (on the Peninsula and the island of Pulau Tioman), southern peninsular Thailand (from the Isthmus of Kra southward), and Singapore (Groves 2001; M. Shekelle pers. comm.)
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia (Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia); Singapore; Thailand
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Surveys in Sumatra have found this species to occur at very low densities. Its presence is patchy through Peninsular Malaysia. Several short-term studies indicated that it usually occurs at low densities: Pasoh Forestry Research Centre, Peninsular Malaysia (0.01-0.02 animals/km); Petalang Jaya, Malaysia (0.40 animals/km); Genting Sempah, Malaysia (3 captures after 30,000 trap nights) (Barret 1981; Rudd and Stevens 1992; Nekaris et al. in press). It was described as uncommon in Panang Island, where one was shot after 11 nights (Liat et al 1971). But at sites where long-term studies were chosen found forests where they occur at particularly high densities (Sungai Tekam Forestry Concession, Malaysia, 0.3-0.8 animals/km in logged primary forest, 0.5-1.2 animals/km in unlogged primary forest; Manjung District, Perak, Malaysia, 1.6-4.0 animals/km in unlogged primary forest and 0.4-1.0 animals/km in logged swamp forest and secondary savanna). In general, though, slow lorises of all taxa appear to occur at very low densities (Nekaris et al. in press).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species occurs in primary and secondary lowland forest, gardens, and plantations (Timm and Birney 1992). It is seen more often in edge habitat of forest, possibly because the edge has more supports that may increase foraging efficiency (Johns 1986), but this also may be due to sampling bias, as they are more easily seen on forest edges (Nekaris et al. in press). It is frugivorous, but will also eat insects, leaves, and bird eggs (Johns 1986). One long-term study has shown that they consume mainly nectar gum and sap, with fruit and arthropods forming small proportion of diet. Nectar from the flowers of the burtram palm (Eugeissona tristus) seems to be a key resource (Wiens and Zitzmann 2003).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is collected for use as pets, and the animals are sold throughout Southeast Asia (Nekaris and Bearder 2007; Nekaris and Nijman 2007). The teeth are often pulled, resulting in infection and/or death. If animals survive, lack of teeth makes reintroduction impossible. Well-meaning rescue centres haphazardly reintroduce lorises into local forests without knowledge of their taxonomy or social needs. Sumatran populations are particularly impacted by the pet trade. There is little information available on other threats to this species. It is relatively adaptable to anthropogenic habitats, and so it might less affected by forest loss than some other primate species. Nevertheless, forest loss has been so severe in the region that it is likely to have had some negative impacts. Animals are shot as crop pests and for other reasons (Bennett et al. 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in several protected areas throughout its range. Studies on Sumatra are urgently needed to confirm conservation status. The species is protected by law in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, and has been recently transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I of CITES (Nekaris and Nijman 2007).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.2. Agro-industry plantations
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Barrett, E. 1981. The present distribution and status of the slow loris in peninsular Malaysia. Malaysian Applied Biology 10: 205-211.

Bennett, E.L., Nyaoi, A.J. and Sompud, J. 1994. Primates on the menu: hunting and its effects in Malaysian Borneo. XVth Congress of the International Primatological Society, 3-8 August 1994. Kuta - Bali, Indonesia.

Chasen, F. 1935. On a collection of mammals from the Natuna Islands. Bulletin of the Raffles Museum, Singapore 10: 5-42.

Fooden, J. 1991. Eastern limit of distribution of the slow loris, Nycticebus coucang. International Journal of Primatology 12(3): 287-290.

Groves C.P. 2001. Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Indrawan, M. and Rangkuti, F. 2001. Status des Natuna-Langurs auf den Natuna-Inseln. ZGAP Mitteilungen 17(2): 20-21.

IUCN. 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Johns, A. 1986. Effects of Selective Logging on the Behavioral Ecology of West Malaysian. Primates Ecology 67(3): 684-694.

Liat, L., Muul, I. and Langham, N. 1971. Preliminary studies of small mammals collected from Penang Island, Malaysia. Federal Museum Journal 16: 61-74.

Lim, N., Lee, B., Shekelle, M. and Nekaris, K. 2007. Nycticebus in Singapore: almost unknown and almost extinct. Abstracts for the conference Prosimians 2007, South Africa.

Nekaris, K. A. I. and Bearder, S. 2007. The strepsirrhine primates of Asia and Mainland Africa: diversity shrouded in darkness. In: S. K. Bearder, C. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. MacKinnon and M. Panger (eds), Primates in Perspective, pp. 24-45. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Nekaris, K.A.I. and Nijman, V. 2007. CITES proposal highlights rarity of asian nocturnal primates (Lorisidae: Nycticebus). Folia Primatologica 78: 211-214.

Rudd, R. and Stevens, G. 1994. A long-term capture-mark-release (CMR) and removal study of small mammals in Malaysian sub-montane rain forest. Wasmann Journal of Ecology 50(1-2): 96-150.

Timm, R.M. and Birney, E.C. 1992. Systematic notes on the Philippine slow loris, Nycticebus coucang menagensis (Lydekker, 1893) (primates, Lorisidae). International Journal of Primatology 13(6): 679–686.

Wiens, F. and Zitzmann, A. 2003. Social structure of the solitary slow loris Nycticebus coucang (Lorisidae). Journal of Zoology (London) 261: 35-46.

Citation: Nekaris, A. & Streicher, U. 2008. Nycticebus coucang. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T39759A10263403. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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