Manakambahiny, Madagascar
Manakambahiny, Madagascar

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Ranaivoarisoa J.F.,Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership | Zaonarivelo J.R.,University of Antsiranana | Lei R.,Center for Conservation and Research | Johnson S.E.,University of Calgary | And 4 more authors.
Primate Conservation | Year: 2013

The northern sportive lemur, Lepilemur septentrionalis, faces imminent danger of extinction, more so than any other lemur in Madagascar. The population estimates for this sportive lemur remain unknown because of habitat loss and ongoing human encroachment, but they are unlikely to number more than a few hundred individuals. We present the results of extensive surveys conducted in 2010, 2011 and 2012 of known habitat, the Sahafary and Analalava classified forests, and confirm the species designation of the sportive lemur observed in Montagne des Français in 2007. Six L. septentrionalis individuals were examined in Sahafary in 2011, along with eight individuals during the 2010 and 2011 expeditions to Montagne des Français. A July 2012 survey in extended forest fragments of Montagne des Français identified another 10 individuals. Surveys of the Analalava forest in 2011 detected no northern sportive lemurs, despite documenting their presence in 2005. One individual was recorded in the July 2012 survey. Although the morphological data of the sportive lemurs at Montagne des Français was comparable to that of Sahafary, the sportive lemur at Montagne des Français was subsequently verified as L. septentrionalis with mitochondrial DNA D-loop sequence data analyses. The confirmation of the northern sportive lemur at Montagne des Français is significant since it establishes additional habitat for this species. However, sustained human encroachment from Antsiranana continues to finance the production of charcoal and collection of sand; activities that are threatening this population. Habitat loss and hunting continue to be the principal threats to the long-Term survival of the northern sportive lemur. With only 19 known individuals, we urge immediate conservation action for this Critically Endangered species.

Manjaribe C.,University of Antananarivo | Frasier C.L.,Center for Conservation and Research | Rakouth B.,University of Antananarivo | Louis E.E.,Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership | Louis E.E.,Center for Conservation and Research
International Journal of Ecology | Year: 2013

A reforestation effort in Kianjavato Commune in southeast Madagascar is presented that combines native diversity with rapidly growing introduced and native pioneer trees. This work utilizes a three-tiered corridor design that capitalizes on the region's mountainous terrain. The process of seed selection, transplantation, and survival rate of seedlings over a 16 month period is reported. The uppermost 50% of each mountain is planted with 38 woody species and most closely approximates native forest. This tier was divided into two categories, pioneer and secondary species. Most of the pioneer species were not native; however, results showed that four fast-growing, environmentally-tolerant native species could be suitable alternatives: Streblus mauritianus, Syzygium bernieri, Treculia madagascariensis and Uapaca thouarsii. More than 70,000 seeds of secondary species were extracted from fecal samples from wild, free-ranging black and white ruffed lemurs; the majority of which germinated significantly better after gut passage. The most effective pretreatment that enhanced germination was to scarify unwashed seeds. Commercially valuable trees, belonging to the community members, were grown on the lower half of each mountain. Lastly, the various contributions of the community are described along with agroforestry development plans designed to reduce pressure on forest resources and generate supplemental income. © 2013 Christophe Manjaribe et al.

Frasier C.L.,Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium | Rakotonirina J.-N.,Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership | Razanajatovo L.G.,Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership | Nasolonjanahary T.S.,Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership | And 4 more authors.
Primate Conservation | Year: 2015

Data are lacking on intraspecific variability in life history traits for the Critically Endangered greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus). Until now, detailed investigations on wild individuals had only been published for Ranomafana National Park, limiting the predictive power on the greater bamboo lemurs' possible responses to threats such as habitat loss and climate change. In this study, data were compiled on vital statistics and basic aspects of infant development for a 48-month period in Kianjavato, Madagascar. The area is mixed-use lowland forest with dense pockets of bamboo amid a disturbed landscape. Four core social groups, which would frequently coalesce into two larger groups, were monitored intensively. The birth pulse occurred in mid-to late September, nearly one month earlier than in Ranomafana National Park. Interbirth intervals and rates of attainment of infant developmental landmarks such as locomotor independence and weaning are discussed. Infant mortality averaged 47% with most deaths concentrated in December and January, while adult mortality was low with most deaths occurring during the dry season. Annual female adult mortality ranged from 0% to 22%. The mortality of adult males could not be assessed due to their dispersal.

Lei R.,Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research | McLain A.T.,Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research | Frasier C.L.,Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research | Taylor J.M.,Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research | And 9 more authors.
Primate Conservation | Year: 2015

The genus Cheirogaleus, the dwarf lemurs (Infraorder Lemuriformes), has been identified as harboring cryptic species diversity. More comprehensive fieldwork combined with improvements in genetic research has revealed a larger radiation of species than was initially described in a number of lemur genera, including Avahi, Lepilemur, Microcebus, and Mirza. Available genetic and morphological evidence suggests that Cheirogaleus is among the genera where diversity was previously underestimated, and additional fieldwork may reveal even more species. A population of Cheirogaleus from northern Madagascar in and around Montagne d'Ambre National Park, surveyed during an expedition in 2005, was recently identified and proposed as a new species. Additional specimens were obtained during fieldwork in February of 2015. Subsequent genetic and morphological analyses of the data collected have determined that this population is an independent lineage, and herein we describe this new species, which we name Cheirogaleus andysabini after New York philanthropist Andy Sabin.

Lei R.,Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research | Frasier C.L.,Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research | McLain A.T.,Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research | Taylor J.M.,Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research | And 7 more authors.
Primate Conservation | Year: 2014

The genus Cheirogaleus, the dwarf lemurs, is a radiation of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. The dwarf lemurs are taxonomically grouped in the family Cheirogaleidae (Infraorder: Lemuriformes) along with the genera Microcebus, Mirza, Allocebus, and Phaner. The taxonomic history of the genus Cheirogaleus has been controversial since its inception due to a paucity of evidence in support of some proposed species. In this study, we addressed this issue by expanding the geographic breadth of samples by 91 individuals and built upon existing mitochondrial (cytb and COII) and nuclear (FIBA and vWF) DNA datasets to better resolve the phylogeny of Cheirogaleus. The mitochondrial gene fragments D-loop and PAST as well as the CFTR-PAIRB nuclear loci were also sequenced. In agreement with previous genetic studies, numerous deep divergences were resolved in the C. major, C. minor and C. medius lineages. Four of these lineages were segregated as new species, seven were identified as confirmed candidate species, and four were designated as unconfirmed candidate species based on comparative mitochondrial DNA sequence data gleaned from the literature or this study. Additionally, C. thomasi was resurrected. Given the widespread distribution of the genus Cheirogaleus throughout Madagascar, the methodology employed in this study combined all available lines of evidence to standardize investigative procedures in a genus with limited access to type material and a lack of comprehensive sampling across its total distribution. Our results highlighted lineages that likely represent new species and identified localities that may harbor an as-yet undescribed cryptic species diversity pending further field and laboratory work.

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