International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 646–669 | Cite as

Forest Type Influences Population Densities of Nocturnal Lemurs in Manompana, Northeastern Madagascar

  • Alex MillerEmail author
  • Harriet Mills
  • Tantely Ralantoharijaona
  • Nicole Andriaholinirina Volasoa
  • Chantal Misandeau
  • Lounès Chikhi
  • Roberta Bencini
  • Jordi SalmonaEmail author


Forest loss, fragmentation, and anthropization threaten the survival of forest species all over the world. Shifting agriculture is one of these threatening processes in Madagascar. However, when its cycle is halted and the land is left to regenerate, the resulting growth of secondary forest may provide a viable habitat for folivorous and omnivorous lemur species. We aimed to identify the response of nocturnal lemurs to different successional stages of regenerating secondary, degraded mature, and mature forest across a mosaic-type landscape. We surveyed four nocturnal lemur species (Avahi laniger, Microcebus cf. simmonsi, Allocebus trichotis, and Daubentonia madagascariensis) in four forest types of varying habitat disturbance in northeastern Madagascar. We estimated densities in mature and regenerating secondary forest for the eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger) and mouse lemur (Microcebus cf. simmonsi), two sympatric species with folivorous and omnivorous diets respectively. We did not estimate densities of Allocebus trichotis and Daubentonia madagascariensis owing to small sample size; however, we observed both species exclusively in mature forest. We found higher population densities of A. laniger and M. cf. simmonsi in secondary than in mature forest, showing the potential of regenerating secondary forest for lemur conservation. Several environmental factors influenced the detectability of the two lemur species. While observer and habitat type influenced detection of the eastern woolly lemur, canopy height and vine density influenced detection of mouse lemurs. Understanding how different species with different diets interact with anthropogenically impacted habitat will aid future management decisions for the conservation of primate species.


Anthropogenic disturbance Eastern woolly lemur Folivory Mouse lemur Omnivory Regenerating secondary forest 



We thank CAFF/CORE, the Direction générale de l’Environnement et des Forêts for giving us permission to conduct this study. Financial support for this study was provided by the School of Animal Biology at The University of Western Australia, the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal (PTDC/BIA-BEC/100176/2008, PTDC/BIA-BIC/4476/2012, and SFRH/BD/64875/2009), the GDRI Madagascar, the Laboratoire d’Excellence (LABEX) entitled TULIP (ANR-10-LABX-41), and the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal. The fieldwork was possible thanks to the support of ADEFA (Association de DEfense de la Foret d’Ambodiriana), now ADAFAM (Association Des Amis de la Fôret d'Ambodiriana-Manompana), and the long-term collaboration between L. Chikhi and the Département de Biologie Animale et Ecologie, University of Mahajanga. We also thank Barbara Le Pors, Senta, and Arnold for assistance with field support and guiding. We are grateful to the editor and reviewers for their detailed constructive and helpful comments that greatly helped improve the quality and clarity of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10764_2018_55_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Gulbenkian de CiênciaOeirasPortugal
  2. 2.School of Human SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Ecosystem ManagementEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  4. 4.Département de Biologie Animale et Ecologie, Faculté des Sciencesde Technologies et de l’Environnement de MahajangaMahajangaMadagascar
  5. 5.Association Des Amis de la Forêt d’Ambodiriana-Manompana (ADAFAM)3 rue des cocotiers Pointe des ChâteauxSaint LeuFrance
  6. 6.Laboratoire Évolution & Diversité Biologique (EDB UMR 5174)Université de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, CNRS, IRD, UPSToulouse cedex 9France
  7. 7.School of Agriculture and EnvironmentThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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