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Nocturnal Primates

Moholi Bushbaby

(Southern Lesser Bushbaby)

The southern lesser bushbaby has light greyish-brown fur on its back, a lighter underside with a distinct yellowish tinge, and a long tail which is usually grey with a darker tip. Its head is dark grey and there are distinctive black markings around the eyes. It has distinctive large ears and large eyes. Males are often slightly heavier than females.


Its range includes Namibia and Angola on the western coast of Africa and Zambia, northern Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and western Tanzania in the east. They inhabit woodlands and the edges of woodlands, especially in acacia trees.


Head-body length: 3.5-8in, Tail length: 4.5-11in. Weight: 0.2-0.5lbs.

  • The bushbaby can turn its head 180°.
  • The index finger is separated farther from the other digits in order to allow the bushbaby a better grip and allow them to catch small invertebrates.
  • They can leap 5m in a single bound.

IUCN lists as a species of least concern. As of now, no threats currently are known and their population remains stable.

Conservation Action:

Listed under CITES Appendix II. This species live in several protected areas.


Pygmy Slow Loris

These lorises have thick light brown to deep reddish brown fur with a white or gray underside. Each individual has their own unique patterns of markings including circles around the eyes and a stripe on their back. They have very large, forward facing eyes that give them nocturnal vision. They also have no tail, a split lip, and a second digit on their feet that has no nail and is used in grooming. Males are often larger than females.


Pygmy slow lorises are found in Vietnam, Laos, eastern Cambodia, and neighboring regions of southern China. They live in rainforests, bamboo thickets, evergreen forests, and degraded forests.


Body length: 6-10in. Weight: 0.25-1lb+

  • Their fur acquires silver tips or “frosting” and their lighter markings become more prominent in the winter. This is thought to aid in camouflage.
  • Pygmy slow lorises produce a toxin from a modified sweat gland near their elbows. When they become upset, they will begin to lick these glands and will bite. This toxin can harm animals and humans, with an instance of a woman going into anaphylactic shock!

IUCN lists as a vulnerable species. Major threats include: deforestation such as logging, fire, and fragmentation; and poaching for traditional medicine, food and the pet trade. They are commonly used in traditional medicines “treating” anything from broken bones to STDs. These animals are also the most popular pet listed on CITES Appendix 1.

Conservation Actions:

Slow lorises are protected in Vietnam, China, and Cambodia.


Ringtails are darker brown on top and a lighter brown on their undersides. The tail is busy with alternating black and white rings. The eyes are surrounded by light brown fur ringed with black or dark brown. They have a pointed face and large, oval ears.


Ringtails can be found throughout the Southwestern United States and Mexico. They inhabit a variety of habitats such as canyons, semi-arid country, desert, woodlands and chaparral.


Length – 12-16.5 in. Weight – 1.8-3 lbs.

  • Ringtails can ricochet off ledges as well as chimney-step (press all four feet against rock and walk) up crevices. They are also able to climb straight down due to the fact that their hind feet can rotate 180°.
  • When threatened, ringtails will arch their back and bristle their fur. They may scream and secrete a foul-smelling odor from their anal glands.
  • The scientific name of the ringtail translates to “cunning little fox.”
  • Other names for the ringtail include “cacomistle” which means “nimble thief” in Spanish and “miner’s cat” as they were sometimes kept as pets by prospectors.

IUCN lists as a species of least concern. Occasionally, this species is hunted for its fur or captured in traps accidentally. They are also caught in the traps set for other fur bearing animals.

Conservation Action:

This species occurs in several protected areas. It is fully protected in the state of California.

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