, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 855-872

Population Density and Home Range Size of Indri indri in a Protected Low Altitude Rain Forest

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Abstract

We report the results of a census of Indri indri conducted in Betampona Nature Reserve, a lowland rain forest in eastern Madagascar. In addition, we conducted a year-long study of the ranging behavior of 3 groups in the southwestern region of the reserve. We used 2 methods to calculate population density and home range size, and to provide minimum and maximum estimates. Population density of Indri indri ranged from 6.9–13.2 individuals/km2 in Betampona. Mean home range size is 27 ha. The values for population density and home range size are intermediate between values for Indri indri in selectively logged and undisturbed montane rain forest. Our results suggest a relationship between habitat disturbance, population density and home range size for the species. Recent increases in habitat disturbance appear to cause an increase in population density and a decrease in home range size. The results are consistent with ones for other folivorous primate populations. Further research on habitat requirements of Indri and availability in Betampona is necessary to investigate the possibility of translocating Indri from nearby forest fragments into Betampona.