International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 949–968 | Cite as

Food Intake and Dietary Overlap in Native Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi and Introduced Eulemur fulvus at Berenty, Southern Madagascar

  • Bruno Simmen
  • Annette Hladik
  • Pierrette Ramasiarisoa


The introduction of Eulemur fulvus in 1975 into the Berenty Reserve and their recent attainment of population densities comparable to those of Lemur catta led us to analyze food partitioning among the 3 large prosimian species in the gallery forest. We assessed the diets of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) and sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi) from food intake measurements during 3 successive short-term studies. All species exhibited marked seasonal changes in their major food categories. Dietary overlap was very high between ring-tailed lemurs and brown lemurs during 2 of 3 seasons, including the middle of the dry season. During the latter period, Eulemur appeared to compensate for a low quality diet by increasing the amount of food eaten. In contrast, Lemur fed on lower amounts of food and seemed more efficient at coping with fibrous plant materials. There is low dietary overlap of Lemur catta and Eulemur fulvus versus Propithecus, which exhibit by far the highest dietary diversity of the 3 species. We discuss sustainable coexistence among them, based on respective dietary adaptations and potential for dietary flexibility.

Diet seasonal variation feeding niches species introduction 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Simmen
    • 1
  • Annette Hladik
    • 1
  • Pierrette Ramasiarisoa
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'Ecologie Générale, Muséum National d'Histoire NaturelleCNRS/FRE 2323BrunoyFrance;
  2. 2.CNREAntananarivoMadagascar

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