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Nycticebus kayan | Kayan River Slow Loris


Good spot:  Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

N. kayan_Jmiksanek.jpg

© Jmiksanek

Sabah, Malaysian Borneo



Taxonomy & Occurrence

Nycticebus kayan is a monotypic species (no subspecies). It is found in Borneo (central and northern): Indonesia (Kalimantan), and Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). The Kayan River Slow Loris was recently recognised as a species on its own following research on the lorises’ distinctive facial markings in 2013 [1]. “Kayan” refers to the major river flowing through its native habitat in the central-east highland of Borneo.


IUCN Conservation Status

Not evaluated yet


Slow lorises are extremely adorable. And this is one of the main reasons for their decline. They are heavily affected by pet trade.

Seeing this Species


The Kayan River Slow Loris is a nocturnal primate, i.e. it is active in the night. Just like a cat, slow lorises' eyes reflect a bright orange eye shine. Finding this animal requires spotlighting and very keen eyesight in the dark. When you do find a loris, please do not keep flashing the torchlight at them! Their eyes will be damaged. The slow lorises (genus Nycticebus) are also the only venomous primates. When under threat, they lick the glands on their forearms. The secretion from the glands mixed with saliva will produce a composite venom, which is then injected through bites. Even though they are generally slow-moving, slow lorises can actually act quick when catching prey such as small insects. Besides invertebrates, they also consume tree gum, fruits, leaves, and bird eggs.  Visit the Little Fireface Project by Professor Anna Nekaris for more information about the lorises!


Sabah, Malaysian Borneo 

Probability of success: ◆ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇


Overlapping species:


Other sites:

Local contacts:    


[1] Munds RA, Nekaris KAI, and Ford SM, 2013. Taxonomy of the Bornean slow loris, with new species Nycticebus kayan. American Journal of Primatology 75, 46-56.

Page Last Updated: 7 May 2020


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