Unfortunately, this species, like many in Sri Lanka, is threatened by deforestation for development. Sri Lanka’s civil war spanned 30 years, which halted development. Since its end in 2009 the human population and development has increased, putting pressure on the many species that call this island home.
Sri Lankan elephants and leopards are now listed as endangered by the IUCN and have lost more than 60% of their natural habitat in 10 years, limiting their habitat to only pocketed National Parks.
It is a similar story with the grey slender loris who are residents of the Sam Popham Arboretum, a very special island of dry zone forest in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. Just a 10 minute drive from Dambulla, on the Kandalama and Dambulla road, you will find the quaint little sign for the IFS (Sri Lankan Tree Society) owned arboretum. Enter the gate and you pass Sam Pophams old house, designed by Jeffry Baur. Continue down the path to the main office where you will meet Mr. Jayantha. He is a fantastic host and it is immediately clear his heart and soul lies in the arboretum. Jayantha has conserved and managed the forest for 20 years under the method called the ‘Popham principle’.