Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Urban Sloths: Public Knowledge, Opinions and Interactions

Version 1 : Received: 30 April 2018 / Approved: 8 May 2018 / Online: 8 May 2018 (10:53:37 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Pereira, K.F.; Young, R.J.; Boere, V.; Silva, I.O. Urban Sloths: Public Knowledge, Opinions, and Interactions. Animals 2018, 8, 90. Pereira, K.F.; Young, R.J.; Boere, V.; Silva, I.O. Urban Sloths: Public Knowledge, Opinions, and Interactions. Animals 2018, 8, 90.

Journal reference: Animals 2018, 8, 90
DOI: 10.3390/ani8060090

Abstract

Free-range sloths living in an urban environment is rare. In this study, human opinions, attitudes and interactions with a population of Bradypus variegatus in a public square were investigated. A questionnaire was applied to people in the square where the sloths reside, and informal, opportunistic observations of human-sloth interactions were made. 95% of respondents knew of the sloths’ existence in the square and 87.8% likes their presence. Opinions about population size differed greatly and younger people were concerned if the square was appropriate place for them. Some human-sloth interactions showed the consequence of lack of biological knowledge. People initiated all sloth-human interactions. The fact that sloths are strictly folivorous has limited their interactions with humans and consequently minimised negative impact of the human-animal interaction on their wellbeing. These results demonstrate that while there is a harmonious relationship between people and sloths, actions in environmental education of the square’s public could be beneficial for the sloths.

Subject Areas

brown-throated sloth; human-animal interactions; questionnaire; urban wildlife; Bradypus variegatus

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