International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 135–152 | Cite as

Evidence of Invasive Felis silvestris Predation on Propithecus verreauxi at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar

  • Diane K. Brockman
  • Laurie R. Godfrey
  • Luke J. Dollar
  • Joelisoa Ratsirarson
Article

Abstract

Increasing evidence supports the idea that endemic avian and mammalian predators have profoundly impacted primate populations in Madagascar (Goodman, S. M. Predation on lemurs. In S. M. Goodman, & J. P. Benstead (Eds.), The natural history of Madagascar (pp. 1221–1228). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, (2003).). The role in regulating lemur populations of the 3 introduced mammalian carnivorans —small Indian civets (Viverricula indica, Desmarest 1804), domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris, Linnaeus 1758), and invasive wildcats (Felis silvestris, Schreber 1775)— is less clear, but recent evidence suggests that the latter 2 are becoming important predators of diurnal lemurs. We report evidence for invasive wildcat predation on sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) in Parcel 1 at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, including skeletal remains of apparent Propithecus sifaka victims, observations of wildcat predatory behavior, and behavioral responses of the lemurs in the presence of wildcats.

Keywords

behavior Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve Felis sylvestris predation Propithecus verreauxi skeletal remains 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the government of Madagascar and Association Nationale pour la Gestion des Aires Protégées for granting us permission to conduct research at BMSR. We especially thank Jeannin Ranaivonasy, ESSA-Forêts, Université d’Antananarivo, for his collaboration. We thank Ibrahim Antho Jacky-Youssouf and his BMSR Monitoring Team for their years of friendship and expertise in gathering data on the living and dead Propithecus; Alison Richard, Kashka Kudzdela, and Mitchell Irwin for granting us access to unpublished observations; Peter Phillipson from the Missouri Botanical Garden who helped with the plant identification; and Emilienne Rasoazanabary, who helped with the cleaning and cataloguing of the osteological collection at the BMSR. We also acknowledge the help of Leon Pierrot Rahajanirina and Julie Pomerantz, DVM, plus dozens of Earthwatch volunteers, who aided L. J. Dollar’s field research on mammalian carnivorans at Ankarafantsika. This research was made possible through the generous support provided to D. K. Brockman from The Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, National Science Foundation (BCS-9905985; BCS-0453870), and the Schwartz Family Foundation; to L. R. Godfrey from Yale University (via Alison Richard), the National Science Foundation (BCS-0129185 to David A. Burney, L. R. Godfrey, and William L. Jungers and BCS-0237388 to L. R. Godfrey), and the Schwartz Family Foundation; to L. J. Dollar from Earthwatch Institute and the Center for Field Research, Conservation International, the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration, and the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation; and to J. Ratsirarson (with Alison Richard) from the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation. An electronic record of the primate specimens with their assigned Beza Mahafaly Osteological Collection (BMOC) numbers is available online through the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Collections website: http://www.umass.edu/physanth/BezaMahafalyOsteoCollection.htm.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane K. Brockman
    • 1
  • Laurie R. Godfrey
    • 2
  • Luke J. Dollar
    • 3
  • Joelisoa Ratsirarson
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Massachusetts, AmherstAmherstUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyPfeiffer UniversityMisenheimerUSA
  4. 4.ESSA, Département Eaux et Forêts, BP 175Université d’Antananarivo (101)AntananarivoMadagascar

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