AbstractEulemur mongoz is found in Madagascar and the Comoros. It is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, threatened by habitat destruction and hunting in Madagascar. The introduced population on the Comoros has not been included in IUCN red list assessments. It has been suggested that this population could serve as an important reservoir for the conservation of the species, however thorough surveys are needed to confirm this. In this thesis, I investigate the distribution, abundance and habitat use of the species on the Comoros island of Anjouan, to determine status and conservation needs.
I used species distribution modelling with a consensus approach to predict the distribution of E. mongoz on Anjouan using presence data. I used hierarchical modelling to predict the effect of habitat on abundance of E. mongoz, using data collected on transects and vegetation surveys. I used distance sampling to estimate population density on the island.
An area of 239 km2 of suitable habitat was predicted on Anjouan, with 6 km2 of highly suitable habitat. Density of Syzygium aromaticum and species richness were found to have a significant effect on lemur abundance. A density of 23 lemurs/km2 was estimated, with a population estimate of 9919 (95% CI 5541-17755) lemurs. My results suggest that E. mongoz has a large range on Anjouan, has a wide tolerance to environmental variables and is flexible in its use of habitat. My results also suggest that species rich agroforestry and degraded forest play an important role in the conservation of the species. My study confirms the importance of this population for the conservation of the species. I recommend that an action plan should include reforestation with native and exotic species to increase the area of species rich habitat, as well as ongoing monitoring on Anjouan and surveys of the Mohéli population.
|Date of Award||19 Mar 2019|
|Supervisor||Grainne Mccabe (Supervisor) & Sean A Rands (Supervisor)|