Home Range Size and Use in Allocebus trichotis in Analamazaotra Special Reserve, Central Eastern Madagascar
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No information is currently available on the space needs of hairy-eared dwarf lemurs (Allocebus trichotis), classified as Data Deficient. The data are crucial for their conservation and comparison with other nocturnal primates. I conducted the first radiotracking study of the species from January to December 2007 in the Analamazaotra Special Reserve of Central Eastern Madagascar. I used nocturnal focal individual follows and daytime nest locations to determine home ranges. I followed 1 full sleeping group (4 adults) for 8 mo and 1 partial sleeping group (2 females) for 3 mo. Group home ranges, calculated via 100% minimum convex polygons (MCP), were 35.5 ha and 16.0 ha, respectively. The 95% kernel method of analysis yielded group home ranges of 15.2 ha and 7.1 ha respectively. The mean home range size for individuals was 15.4 ha (MCP) and 5.4 ha (kernel). This is much larger than for other Cheirogaleidae and could be due to a more insectivorous diet or the use of patchily distributed gum-producing trees. There were small nonsignificant monthly variations in home range size. The mean home range size per individual per month was 5.2 ha (MCP) and 2.2 ha (kernel). Important individual differences in overall and monthly home range size could be due to variations in the individual reproductive cycles and survival strategies. Overlap analyses and the lack of sexual difference in home range size suggest the social unit is a family or multimale/multifemale sleeping group with monogamous or promiscuous mating. The Analamazaotra Special Reserve probably holds ca. 100 adult individuals. Additional research is urgently needed to clarify the habitat needs of this rare species.
Keywordsconservation habitat use population estimate seasonal variation social structure
This research was funded by Primate Conservation Inc., Conservation International’s Primate Action Fund, The Linnean Society’s Systematics Research Fund, Primate Society of Great Britain and Oxford Brookes University. MICET helped with research permits, visas, and logistics in Madagascar. The local ANGAP and Association Mitsinjo in Andasibe helped with logistics, access to the field sites, and support staff. Field assistants included Miss Tiana Andrianoelina and Mr. Laingoniaina Rakotonirina from the Department of Paleontology and Biological Anthropology at the University of Antananarivo; conservation agents from the local ANGAP office (Richard, Nono and Simon); local guides from Association Mitsinjo (Play, Nasoavina, Justin-Claude, Alain, Pierre, and Olivier) and Association Tambatra (Justin), and 2 European volunteers (Anna Stangl and Jason Mann). This project was conducted as part of my Ph.D. at Oxford Brookes University and I also thank my supervisors: Dr. Anna Nekaris and Prof. Simon Bearder for their support and advice throughout this study and for comments and reviews on the paper. Finally, I thank the anonymous reviewers who helped improved the manuscript with their comments.
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