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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016 / Field data on the little known and endangered Lepilemur mittermeieri.

L. Wilmet, C. Schwitzer, R.C. Beudels-Jamar, G. Sonet, P. Devillers and C. Vermeulen (2015)

Field data on the little known and endangered Lepilemur mittermeieri.

Journal of Primatology,, 4(2).

Lepilemur mittermeieri is a very little known sportive lemur of the Ampasindava peninsula of Madagascar, presently regarded as endangered. On the basis of genetic material only, obtained from three individuals collected at the same locality. No observation confidently allocated to the species has been reported since. The objectives of our research were to verify that the sportive lemurs found in forests of the Ampasindava peninsula beyond the type-locality of Lepilemur mittermeieri belonged to the same species as the type, to provide morphological and behavioural data for populations confidently attributed to L. mittermeieri and to obtain for these populations preliminary evaluations of density variations within the peninsula. Our surveys were undertaken in March and April 2014 in remnant forest patches of the western part of the Ampasindava peninsula. Linear transects by night and punctual observations by day were conducted. A total of 54 animals were seen along nine transects situated in four forest patches, two at low altitude and two at high altitude. All animals examined and photographed appeared similar, and the impression was gained that a single taxon was involved. Genetic material collected from one dead specimen proved identical to the type of L. mittermeieri which confirmed the identity of the populations we observed. It thus appears that L. mittermeieri is indeed the only sportive lemur present on the peninsula and that it occurs in several forest remnants. We endeavoured to get evaluations of the density and abundance of the species in the four forest patches we studied. We used KAIs (Kilometric Abundance Indices) to evaluate and compare relative densities, and Buckland’s distance sampling method to evaluate absolute densities. The latter suggested a density of 1.9 animals/ ha, a result that must, however, be taken with caution.

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