, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 1007-1019
Date: 19 Apr 2011

Distribution Patterns of Slender Loris Subspecies (Loris lydekkerianus) in Kerala, Southern India

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Gray slender lorises (Loris lydekkerianus) are 1 of 2 nocturnal primate genera occurring in India. Although the distribution and abundance of the species is known for some parts of southern India, the relative distribution of the 2 subspecies, Loris lydekkerianus lydekkerianus and L. l. malabaricus, and their comparative densities and extent of overlap between their distributions remains largely unknown. We investigated the distribution pattern and relative density of slender lorises in the Western Ghats mountain range in the state of Kerala in southern India. We surveyed 36 forest ranges in 17 forest divisions of northern and central Kerala from February to November 2009 for the presence of lorises. We sighted slender lorises in 22 forest ranges in a variety of vegetation types, and the relative abundance of the species ranged from 0.02 to 1.44 lorises/km. Our results confirm that both loris subspecies are present in Kerala: Mysore slender lorises have a narrow patchy distribution on the eastern edges of the Western Ghats mountain range, and Malabar slender lorises have a fairly contiguous distribution on the western slopes of the Western Ghats. We recommend more detailed surveys in southern Kerala to identify the distribution patterns of the subspecies in these areas.