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Range and conservation updates for the Critically Endangered blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons and the Vulnerable black lemur Eulemur macaco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalOryx
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Jun 2019
DatePublished (current) - 5 Aug 2019

Abstract

The Critically Endangered blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons of north-western Madagascar is one of the most threatened primates. The majority of research and conservation efforts for the species have been restricted to the Sahamalaza Peninsula but there are unstudied and unprotected populations farther inland. The dearth of information regarding the transition between E. flavifrons and its parapatric sister species, the Vulnerable black lemur Eulemur macaco, and the possibility of a hybrid population complicates conservation planning for both species. We surveyed 29 forest fragments across both species' ranges to investigate the boundary between the taxa, whether hybrids persist, and the threats to lemurs in the region. We found E. flavifrons in six fragments and E. macaco in 17. We never observed E. flavifrons and E. macaco in the same location and we found no conclusive evidence of hybrids. Three fragments in which E. flavifrons was present were north of the Andranomalaza River, which had previously been considered the barrier between the two species. Based on these observations and a literature review, we provide updated ranges, increasing the extent of occurrence (EOO) of E. flavifrons by 28.7% and reducing the EOO of E. macaco by 44.5%. We also evaluate the capacity of protected areas to conserve these lemurs. We recommend additional surveys and the implementation of an education programme in this region to help conserve both species.

    Research areas

  • Black lemur, blue-eyed black lemur, geographical range, Manongarivo Special Reserve, Sahamalaza-Iles Radama National Park, species distribution

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