POPULATION DENSITY OF « Varecia Variegata »

Population density of the critically endangered Varecia variegata at Mangevo (Ranomafana National Park), Madagascar.
Baden, A.L.1,

Eulemur rubriventer

Schutt, P.2, Rakotomahafaly, H.3
1IDPAS (Department of Anthropology), SBS Building, 5th Floor, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, 2William & Mary University, 3University of Antananarivo

The critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) is considered among the top conservation priorities within Madagascar . The species occurs exclusively in the country’s eastern rainforests, ranging between the northern Antainambalana River and southern Mananara River (Vasey 2003); however, the species is not found in abundance at any site within this range . Due to its high levels of frugivory and extreme sensitivity to habitat degradation, this taxon is among the first to disappear in the presence of habitat disturbance, making it especially susceptible to the effects of human encroachment. Consequently, many populations have been reduced to living in ‘isolated island environments,’ forest fragments surrounded by periodically burned agricultural land (Vasy 2003). Additionally, with the exception of a handful of well-monitored localities (Balko, Ratsimbazafy, Vasey, Morland, Britt), current species population estimates remain ambiguous throughout much of the country. This study quantifies the population density of Varecia variegata at a newly established site, Mangevo, within Ranomafana National Park.

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