CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Moolah, misfortune or spinsterhood? The plight of Slender Loris Loris lydekkerianus in southern India

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A. Kanagavel
C. Sinclair
R. Sekar
R. Raghavan


In this communication, we document the local knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of slender lorises among the indigenous Kani community in the southern Western Ghats; document new records of Loris lydekkerianus lydekkerianus in the Agasthyamalai Hills; and discuss in detail a poorly known threat to these primates. Although not kept as pets due to their physical appearance, and belief that they would bring bad luck, the Kani community however captured slender lorises for wildlife photographers. Similar instances of loris abuse in various parts of south India were revealed upon analyzing photographs from a popular internet-based wildlife photography site. We recommend that strict guidelines be formulated for photographing lorises, and suggest that novel and ethical tourism initiatives be set up involving local communities to cater to wildlife photographers and tourists.

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