Long-Term Lemur Research at Centre Valbio, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

  • Patricia C. Wright
  • Elizabeth M. Erhart
  • Stacey Tecot
  • Andrea L. Baden
  • Summer J. Arrigo-Nelson
  • James Herrera
  • Toni Lyn Morelli
  • Marina B. Blanco
  • Anja Deppe
  • Sylvia Atsalis
  • Steig Johnson
  • Felix Ratelolahy
  • Chia Tan
  • Sarah Zohdy
Chapter

Abstract

We present findings from 25 years of studying 13 species of sympatric primates at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Long-term studies have revealed that lemur demography at Ranomafana is impacted by climate change, predation from raptors, carnivores, and snakes, as well as habitat disturbance. Breeding is seasonal, and each species (except Eulemur rubriventer) gives birth synchronously to be able to wean before winter. Infant mortality is high (30–70%) and partly due to infanticide in Propithecus edwardsi,and perhaps Varecia variegata. Diurnal lemurs can live beyond 30 years in the wild and most females reproduce until death. Small-bodied Microcebus rufuslive up to 9 years without signs of senescence. Prolemur simusmigrates in search of new bamboo and mates, and related V. variegatamothers park their multiple offspring in “kindergartens,” protected by others while mothers forage. Interference competition among sympatric lemurs occurs. Anthropogenic factors, such as past selective logging and climate change may influence the declining density of E. rufifrons, P. simus, and P. edwardsiwhile not affecting the density of pair-living species.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia C. Wright
    • 1
  • Elizabeth M. Erhart
    • 2
  • Stacey Tecot
    • 3
  • Andrea L. Baden
    • 4
  • Summer J. Arrigo-Nelson
    • 5
  • James Herrera
    • 4
  • Toni Lyn Morelli
    • 6
  • Marina B. Blanco
    • 7
  • Anja Deppe
    • 4
  • Sylvia Atsalis
    • 8
  • Steig Johnson
    • 9
  • Felix Ratelolahy
    • 10
  • Chia Tan
    • 8
  • Sarah Zohdy
    • 11
  1. 1.Institute for the Conservation of Tropical EnvironmentsStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  3. 3.School of AnthropologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  4. 4.IDPASStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of California in PennsylvaniaCaliforniaUSA
  6. 6.Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and ManagementU.C. BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  7. 7.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  8. 8.San Diego Zoological SocietyThe San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation ResearchSan DiegoUSA
  9. 9.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  10. 10.Wildlife Conservation SocietyAntananarivoMadagascar
  11. 11.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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