Map of South America and the distribution of sloth species

Find your Favorite Sloth

This map shows the overlapping habitats of different species of Sloths (Bradypus spp. and Choloepus spp.) in South and Central America. The ring around the images has the colors of the different areas, each species occupies. Due to range overlapping, a single species might have more than one color. Each image is a button that you can select to pick the distribution of a particular species. Zoom in the map to take a closer look! For more information scroll down.

Bradypus tridactylus

Bradypus variegatus

Bradypus pygmaeus

Choloepus didactylus

Choloepus hoffmanni

Bradypus torquatus


This chart displays the geography of sloth species in South and Central America. The two major groups are classified according to the number of toes they have. Some of them have no major threats, but if they are endangered it is mainly due to the deforestation of their habitat.

Three toed Sloths Bradypus spp.
three toed pale throated or Bradypus tridactylusPale throat or Bradypus tridactylus. Lives in South America North of the Amazon River. Locally is relatively abundant.
Brown throated three toed or Bradypus variegatusBrown throat or Bradypus variegatus. Listed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution including a large part of the Amazon forest and Central America. Locally is relatively abundant.
Pygmy sloth Bradypus pygmaeusPygmy or Bradypus pygmaeus. Currently critically endangered. Its habitat is limited to a small island in Panama.
Three toed Maned or Bradypus torquatusManed or Bradypus torquatus. This sloth is listed as vulnerable. Its narrow habitat in South America is highly fragmented.
Two Toed Sloths Choloepus spp.
Two toed Linneau's or Choloepus didactylusLinneau's or Choloepus didactylus. This two toed sloth is limited to the Amazon forest in South America. It is currently listed as least concern.
Hoffmann's or Choloepus hoffmanniHoffmann's or Choloepus hoffmanni.This two toed sloth has a wide distribution in Central and South America. For this reason it is listed as least concert. Locally is relatively abundant.

Resources and Inspiration

This map was inspired by my childhood and the joy of seeing sloths for the first time. Back then it was a common practice for locals to own one or to display them on the beach for tourists. Fortunately this is no longer the case. I have not seen one in the wild, but hope that due to their wide distribution I will see one again!

I thought there were only 2 types of sloths. Lookig a bit into them I realized there were 6 species. I decided I could learn more about them and inform about the different groups by creating this interactive map.

To create this map I used the tutorials for Let's make a Map.

The different sloth habitats and further information about sloths were obtained from The 2010 Sloth Red List Assessment. The map produced is an aproximation inferred from this list.

The shapefiles with the different ecoregions in Central and South America were obtained from Ecological Regions. The ecoregions are the fainted lines visible on the map.

Made by Luz K. Molina with D3.js.