New Slow Loris Species Discovered in Borneo

In the December 13, 2012, issue of the American Journal of Primatology, an international team of scientists reported on the discovery of a new species of slow loris in Borneo.

The new species, the Kayan Loris, is found in the central-east highland area of Borneo, and is named for a major river flowing in its region, the Kayan.

The loris species, which a generally nocturnal, are identified by the differences in facial fur markings. Advancements in photographic technology as well as an increased number of interactions with live specimens in an area of the world that is difficult to reach has now led to the distinction of one new species and the designation of two subspecies as unique.

Slow loris, the only known primate species with a toxic bite, live in the jungles of Borneo and on the surrounding islands, including the Philippines, and range from Bangladesh to China's Yunnan province.

All four known slow loris species are currently rated as vulnerable or endangered on the IUCN Red List. The major threats to the slow loris are pet trade and human encroachment on slow loris territory.

Researchers expect to find more unique species of slow loris.