The Effects of Climate Seasonality on Behavior and Sleeping Site Choice in Sahamalaza Sportive Lemurs, Lepilemur sahamalaza

Isabella Mandl*, Marc Holderied, Christoph Schwitzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

5 Citations (Scopus)
212 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Temperature, rainfall, and resource availability may vary greatly within a single year in primate habitats. Many primate species show behavioral and physiological adaptations to this environmental seasonality, including changes to their diets and activity. Sahamalaza sportive lemurs (Lepilemur sahamalaza) inhabit the northwest of Madagascar and have been studied only during the dry, colder period of the year. We investigated potential effects of climate seasonality on this species by collecting behavioral data between October 2015 and August 2016, encompassing both the warmer wet and the colder dry seasons. We collected 773.15 hours of behavioral data on 14 individual sportive lemurs to investigate year-round activity budgets, ranging behavior, and sleeping site locations. Additionally we recorded temperature and rainfall data at our study site to describe the environmental conditions during the study period. The study individuals significantly decreased their time spent traveling and increased their time spent resting in the dry season compared to the wet season. Although home range size and path lengths did not differ over the study period, sleeping locations were significantly different between seasons as the lemurs focused on more confined areas in colder periods. Overall, the results indicate that Sahamalaza sportive lemur behavior varies with season, in line with reports for other primates.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Early online date11 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Behavior
  • Nocturnal
  • Seasonal
  • Strepsirrhines

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