Habitat selection and use in the Critically Endangered Sahamalaza sportive lemur Lepilemur sahamalazensis in altered habitat

Melanie Seiler, Marc Holderied, Christoph Schwitzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Habitat selection and use by primates is influenced by the trade-off between distribution of foraging resources and predation risk. So far, there are published studies on habitat use for 2 out of 26 sportive lemur species, but none document habitat selection. We studied habitat in home ranges as well as feeding preferences and nightly activity budgets in the Sahamalaza sportive lemur Lepilemur sahamalazensis. We describe the habitat structure of home ranges located in 4 forest fragments in Madagascar with varying habitat characteristics after following 8 radio-tagged individuals for a total of 666 h at night. With the limitation of small sample size, our results suggest that Sahamalaza sportive lemurs choose the locations of their home ranges on the basis of different habitat variables, with abundance of sleeping sites and feeding trees as well as tree density and canopy cover being the most important factors. The Sahamalaza sportive lemur is a highly folivorous generalist herbivore, feeding on at least 42 different tree species and preferring the abundant species Clitoria lasciva, Mangifera indica, Garcinia pauciflora and Sorindeia madagascariensis. It has prolonged times of resting during its activity periods. Our results imply that despite its habitat selectivity, even the most degraded fragments on the Sahamalaza Peninsula still adequately meet the species' habitat requirements. However, the small extent of the remaining forest and ongoing deforestation, forest degradation and poaching call the future survival of this Critically Endangered species into question.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-286
Number of pages14
JournalEndangered Species Research
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Activity budget
  • Critically Endangered
  • Feeding ecology
  • Habitat requirements
  • Habitat selection
  • Sportive l?emur

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