To significantly increase the protection and awareness of Isla Escudo de Veraguas as a unique habitat using pygmy three-toed sloths as a flagship species through long-term collaborations with Panamanian authorities and local communities.
The pygmy three-toed sloth was only recognised as a distinct species in 2001, and is the smallest of the sloths. It can only be found on Isla Escudo de Veraguas, which separated from mainland Panama 9,000 years ago. Famous for its slow movements the pygmy three-toed sloth is thought to live predominantly in mangroves. Spending most of the day hanging upside down in trees sleeping and eating mangrove leaves, the pygmy sloth can turn its head up to 270 degrees without moving its body. The population is Critically Endangered.
The major threat to the pygmy three-toed sloth is mangrove destruction and degradation which is reducing the size of its already small habitat, but it may also be at risk from occasional poaching by humans who have recently moved onto the island.