The Silky Anteater, Cyclopes didactylus, is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This is the smallest of all anteaters, weighing only 300 grams as an adult. It is extremely difficult to observe in the wild because it is only active at night and moves through the canopy without descending to the ground.
The Silky Anteater is distributed throughout the Amazonian rainforest. An isolated, genetically distinct population exists in the northeastern Atlantic forest of Brazil that is classified as Critically Endangered. This population is especially threatened by habitat destruction, as deforestation is advancing at a fast pace. Locals also frequently capture Silky Anteaters to keep them as pets.
Field research has been initiated by the Brazillian NGO Projeto Tamandua to obtain basic information on this poorly known species and to promote its conservation. Education programs are urgently needed to stop its use as a pet species, and effective conservation of its natural forest habitat is key to ensure the long-term survival of this species.