Pilot survey of avahi population (woolly lemurs) in littoral forest fragments of southeast Madagascar
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This study presents a pilot survey of the avahis (pair-living, nocturnal prosimians) living in threatened littoral forest fragments of southeastern Madagascar. In the period of October–December 2004, I evaluated the density of adult and newborn avahis (carried by the mothers) by counting the individuals encountered during 58 night walks in seven fragments of Sainte Luce and Mandena forests, along one trail/fragment. Along each trail, I used random plots (5 m2) for a preliminary characterization of the vegetation. The density of the population was not correlated with fragment size and number of plant morphospecies, while it was correlated with large tree availability. Possibly due to a low energy diet based on leaves and to specialized and energetically expensive vertical leaping, the loss of large trees by selective logging seems to affect avahi populations more than other variables.
KeywordsAvahi laniger Avahi meridionalis Degradation Fragmentation Littoral forest Madagascar
Thanks to the Malagasy Département des Eaux et Forêt, Parque de Tsimbasasa, Université d’Antananarivo, J. Ganzhorn, S. M. Borgognini-Tarli, J.B. Ramanamanjato, M. Vincelette and the whole QMM (Qit Madagascar Minerals) conservation team, S. Randriamanga, G. Donati, E. Palagi, and the assistants G. Sambo and A. Kadoffe.
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