Sleeping and Ranging Behavior of the Sambirano Mouse Lemur, Microcebus sambiranensis

Dan Hending*, Grainne McCabe, Marc Holderied

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

3 Citations (Scopus)
227 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Primates require secure sleeping sites for periods of rest, but despite their importance, the characteristics of desired sleeping sites are poorly known. Here we investigated the sleeping ecology of a radio-collared population of the Sambirano mouse lemur, Microcebus sambiranensis, during the nonreproductive season in the Anabohazo forest, northwestern Madagascar. We also investigated their ranging behavior and examined the spatial distribution of sleeping sites within the home ranges of the collared individuals. We took measurements of the sleeping tree’s physical characteristics and recorded the number of collared individuals using each sleeping site. We found that M. sambiranensis generally use foliage sleeping sites more frequently than tree holes and individuals slept more frequently in densely foliated trees than in sparsely foliated trees, often alone. We observed no significant differences in home range size or nightly travel distance between males and females; however, home ranges were smaller than those described for other mouse lemur species. Finally, we found that M. sambiranensis sleep peripherally and forage centrally within their home ranges, a behavior not previously described for mouse lemurs. Our results indicate profound differences in the social organization between M. sambiranensis and other mouse lemur species described in the literature, suggesting species-specificity in mouse lemur ecology. Understanding the sleeping ecology and ranging behavior of mouse lemurs is of great importance to their conservation, as these data facilitate the planning of long-term reforestation, habitat management, and population assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Early online date28 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Home range
  • Lemur
  • Microcebus Sambiranensis
  • Sleeping ecology

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