Like many and much more nimble Neotropical fauna, sloths are running out of room to maneuver. As forests in South America and Central America are cleared for agriculture and other human uses, populations of these arboreal leaf eaters, which depend on large trees for both food and refuge, can become isolated and at risk. But one type of sustainable agriculture, shade-grown cacao plantations, could become critical refuges and bridges between intact forests for the iconic animals. That’s the focus of research by CALS forestry and wildlife ecology professors Jonathan Pauli and Zach Peery, as described in this Grow magazine article.
College of Agricultural & Life Sciences