International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 545–559 | Cite as

The lemurs of marojejy strict nature reserve, Madagascar: A status overview with notes on ecology and threats

  • J. W. Duckworth
  • M. I. Evans
  • A. F. A. Hawkins
  • R. J. Safford
  • R. J. Wilkinson


From mid-August to late October 1988, we surveyed Marojejy Strict Nature Reserve, in the northern part of Madagascar’s rain forest. Although widely believed to be a keystone site for lemur conservation, only incidental information concerning Marojejy’s primate communities has hitherto been published. The reserve extends from 75 to 2133 m in altitude, and its 60,150 ha comprise an almost-intact series of altitudinal forest zones, now fundamentally isolated from formerly contiguous surrounding forest. We visited all forest zones and all altitudes of the reserve. We observed a total of nine species including the little-known diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema candidus),for which Marojejy is the most important site. Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascarensis)is also present. Brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus albifrons) isthe most frequently observed species. Little is known about this subspecies in the wild. In the interior, many lemurs were extremely inquisitive of human presence, showing how little hunted they are. This contrasted with their lower numbers and evasive behavior in the more accessible regions of the reserve. The major threats to the lemurs of Marojejy are the ceaseless piecemeal clearance of the reserve’s forest, which is proceeding inward from the boundary, and direct trapping.

Key words

Marojejy lemur status Propithecus diadema candidus Eulemur fulvus albifrons Daubentonia madagascariensis lemur traps 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Benson, C. W., Colebrook-Robjent, J. F. R., and Williams, A. (1976-1977). Contribution à l’ornithologie de Madagascar.Oiseau RFO 46: 103–134, 209–242, 367–386; 47: 41–64, 167–191.Google Scholar
  2. Constable, I. D., Pollock, J. I., Ratsirarson, J., and Simons, H. (1985). Sightings of aye-ayes and red-ruffed lemurs on Nosy Mangabé and the Masoala Peninsula.Primate Conserv. 5: 59–62.Google Scholar
  3. Duckworth, J. W. (1993). Feeding damage left in bamboo, probably by aye-ayesDaubentonia madagascariensis.Int. J. Primatol. 14: 927–931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Evans, M. I., Duckworth, J. W., Hawkins, A. F. A., Safford, R. J., Sheldon, B. C., and Wilkinson, R. J. (1992). Key bird species of Marojejy strict nature reserve, Madagascar.Bird Conserv. Int. 2: 201–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Godfrey, L., and Vuillaume-Randriamanantena, M. (1986).Hapalemur simus: endangered lemur once widespread.Primate Conserv. 7: 92–96.Google Scholar
  6. Green, G. M., and Sussman, R. W. (1990). Deforestation history of the eastern rain forests of Madagascar from satellite images.Science 248: 212–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Griveaud, P. (1960). Une mission entomologique au Marojejy.Nat. Malgache 12: 43–55.Google Scholar
  8. Guillaumet, J.-L., Betsch, J.-M., Blanc, C., Morat, P., Peyrieras, A., and Paulian, R. (1975). Étude des ecosystèmes montagnards dans la region malgache. III Le Marojejy. IV L’Itremo et l’Ibity. Géomorphologie, climatologie, faune et flore (Campagne RCP 225, 1972–73).Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. (Paris), Sér. 3, 309 (Ecol. Génerale) 25: 27–67.Google Scholar
  9. Harcourt, C., and Thornback, J. (1990).Lemurs of Madagascar and the Comoros, The IUCN Red Data Book, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  10. Humbert, H. (1955). Une merveille de la nature à Madagascar. Première exploration botanique du massif de Marojejy, et de ses satellites.Mém. Inst. Sci. Madagascar, Sér. B, Tome VI.Google Scholar
  11. IUCN/UNEP/WWF (1987).Madagascar, an Environmental Profile, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  12. Martin, R. D. (1973). A review of the behaviour and ecology of the lesser mouse lemur. In Michael, R. P., and Crook, J. H. (eds.),Comparative Ecology and Behavior of Primates, Academic Press, London, pp. 1–68.Google Scholar
  13. Meier, B., and Albignac, R. (1991). Rediscovery ofAllocebus trichotis Gunther 1875 (Primates) in Northeast Madagascar.Folia Primatol. 56: 57–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mittermeier R. A. (1986). Action Plan for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in Madagascar, Unpublished report to World Wildlife Fund.Google Scholar
  15. Mittermeier, R. A., Konstant, W. R., Nicoll, M. E., and Langrand, O. (1992).Lemurs of Madagascar. An Action Plan for Their Conservation, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  16. Nicoll, M. E., and Langrand, O. (1989).Madagascar. Revue de la Conservation et des Aires Protégées, World Wide Fund for Nature, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  17. Quansah, N. (ed.) (1988).Manongarivo Special Reserve (Madagascar) 1987–88 Expedition Report, Madagascar Environment Research Group, London.Google Scholar
  18. Petter, J.-J., Albignac, R., and Rumpler, Y. (1977). Mammifères lémuriens (Primates prosimiens).Faune de Madagascar No. 44, ORSTOM-CNRS, Paris.Google Scholar
  19. Pollock, J. I. (1987). État de conservation et distribution des lémuriens dans les fôrets de l’est de Madagascar. In Mittermeier, R. A., Rakotovao, L. H., Randrianasolo, V., Sterling, E. J., and Devtire, D. (eds.),Priorités en Matière de Conservation des Espèces à Madagascar, IUCN-SSC Occasional Papers No. 2, pp. 63–69.Google Scholar
  20. Rand, A. L. (1932). Mission Franco-Anglo-Américaine à Madagascar. Notes de voyage.Oiseau RFO 2: 227–282.Google Scholar
  21. Rand, A. L., (1935). On the habits of some Madagascar mammals.J. Mammal. 16: 89–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Raxworthy, C. J. (1986). The lemurs of Zahamena reserve.Primate Consent. 7: 46–48.Google Scholar
  23. Safford, R. J., and Duckworth, J. W. (eds.) (1990). A wildlife survey of Marojejy nature reserve, Madagascar.Int. Council Bird Pres. Study Rep. 40: 1–184.Google Scholar
  24. Sheldon, B. C., and Duckworth, J. W. (1990). The rediscovery of the Madagascar Serpent-eagleEutriorchis astur.Bull. Br. Om. Club. 110: 126–130.Google Scholar
  25. Tattersall, I. (1982).The Primates of Madagascar, Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  26. White, F. (1983).The Vegetation of Africa. A Descriptive Memoir to Accompany the UNESCO/AETFAT/UNSO Vegetation Map of Africa, UNESCO, Paris.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Duckworth
    • 1
  • M. I. Evans
    • 2
  • A. F. A. Hawkins
    • 3
  • R. J. Safford
    • 4
  • R. J. Wilkinson
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyCambridgeUK
  2. 2.BirdLife International, Wellbrook CourtCambridgeUK
  3. 3.PillUK
  4. 4.RichmondUK
  5. 5.FarehamUK

Personalised recommendations