One early morning this past August, and for the first time ever in the Sierra del Lacandón National Park, our field staff observed two silky anteaters (Cyclopes didactylus). As the staff was conducting their regular scientific monitoring focused on the jaguar (Panthera onca) they spotted the two individuals perched in a tree right next to the camp area. Also known as the pygmy anteater, it’s the smallest anteater, and the only living species in the genus Cyclopes and the family Cyclopedidae.
The silky anteater is nocturnal and arboreal, living in lowland rainforests with continuous canopy, where it can get around without the need to descend from trees. It feeds mainly on ants, eating between 700 and 5,000 a day. Its main predators are hawks and the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja).
Although the geographic distribution of the species includes the Sierra del Lacandón National Park this first official sighting within the park makes us very happy and motivated to keep monitoring the biological wealth in our protected areas.