Cheirogaleus population density meta-analysis data

  • Daniel Hending (Contributor)



Aim: Global animal populations are in decline due to destruction and degradation of their natural habitat. Understanding the factors that determine the distribution and density of threatened animal populations is therefore now a crucial component of their study and conservation. The Cheirogaleidae are a diverse family of small-bodied, nocturnal lemurs that are widespread throughout the forests of Madagascar. However, many cheirogaleid lemurs are now highly threatened with extinction and the environmental factors that determine their distribution and population density are still little known. Here, I investigated the environmental drivers of Cheirogaleidae population density at genus level. Location: Various forest sites across Madagascar. Methods: I investigated how six environmental variables affect Cheirogaleidae population density at the genus level via random effect meta-analyses. I then used a Generalized Linear Mixed-effects Model to identify the primary predictors of Cheirogaleidae population density. Finally, I investigated how the population density of this family of lemurs varies between protected and unprotected areas of Madagascar via a GLM analysis. Results: My results indicate that the relationships between the tested environmental factors and population density are genus-specific among the Cheirogaleidae. Rather remarkably, the density of Microcebus appears to have a profoundly positive relationship with anthropogenic disturbance and a negative relationship with forest cover, a finding that is also reflected by larger population densities within unprotected areas in comparison to localities within Madagascar’s protected area network. Main Conclusions: The results of this study are highly encouraging for the conservation of the Cheirogaleidae and highlight the remarkable resilience of these lemurs to habitat degradation and anthropogenic activity. However, this study also outlines the dearth of knowledge that we have for many species, and why these data are urgently needed to understand the biogeography and ecology of threatened animal populations and implement successful conservation.,All species included in this study are at risk from a harmful human activity within their geographic ranges. The detail of the occurence data used in this study is such that its release may enable someone to exploit this locality information and carry out a harmful activity upon the species. All occurence points have therefore been removed from this publicly available dataset, whilst the raster values associated with each coordinate have been retained. This procedure follows recommendations made by Chapman & Grafton (2008). Chapman, AD. and Grafton, O. (2008) Guide to Best Practices for Generalising Primary Species-Occurrence Data, version 1.0. Copenhagen: Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 27 pp. ISBN: 87-92020-06-2.,
Date made available18 Jun 2021

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