"Extinct," Pop-Eyed Primate Photographed for First Time
Fewer than a hundred Horton Plains slender lorises thought to survive.
(Related: "'Extinct' Bird Seen, Eaten.")
Discovered in 1937 but "missing" for 60 years, Sri Lanka's Horton Plains slender loris was presumed to have died out. In 2002 a fleeting nighttime sighting of something looking like the elusive tree-dweller, however, gave conservationists hope.
Follow-up surveys led by the Zoological Society of London finally confirmed the lorises are alive—if not exactly well—in 2009, when two individuals were photographed and examined.
Initial estimates after the rediscovery put the total world population at fewer than a hundred, said the society's conservation biologist Craig Turner. And in this case, the world is limited to high cloud forests in the Horton Plains area (map) of central Sri Lanka—the animal's only known habitat.
"Potentially this is