IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Greater bamboo lemur

The greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus), also known as the broad-nosed bamboo lemur and the broad-nosed gentle lemur, is the largest bamboo lemur, at over five pounds or nearly 2.5 kilograms. It has greyish brown fur and white ear tufts, and has a head-body length of around one and a half feet, or forty to fifty centimeters. It feeds almost exclusively on the bamboo species of Cathariostachys madagascariensis, preferring the shoots but also eating the pith and leaves. It is unknown how their metabolism deals with the cyanide found in the shoots. The typical daily dose would be enough to kill humans. Greater bamboo lemurs occasionally consume fungi, flowers, and fruit. Its only confirmed predator is the fossa, but raptors are also suspected. Its current range is restricted to southeastern Madagascar, although fossils indicate its former range extended across bigger areas of the island, including as far north as Ankarana.[3][4] Some notable parts of the current range are the Ranomafana[5] and Andringitra National Parks.[citation needed]

Greater bamboo lemurs live in groups of up to 28. Individuals are extremely gregarious. The species may be the only lemur in which the male is dominant, although this is not certain. Because of their social nature, greater bamboo lemurs have at least seven different calls. Males have been observed taking bamboo pith away from females that had put significant effort into opening the bamboo stems. In captivity, greater bamboo lemurs have lived over the age of 17.[6]

Conservation status[edit]

The greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus), is one of the world's most critically endangered primates, according to the IUCN Red List. Scientists believed that it was extinct, but a remnant population was discovered in 1986.[7] Since then, surveys of south- and central eastern Madagascar have found fewer than 75 individuals. The most recent total count is 60 animals in the wild. Other estimates suggest the population may be as high as 100 and 160 individuals left in the wild.[8] The home range of the species is likewise drastically reduced. The current range is less than 4 percent of its historic distribution. Most of the former range is no longer suitable habitat due to this species' dietary specialization on bamboo and its microhabitat preferences. The outlook is dire since areas with critically low population numbers have no official protection, and comprise severely degraded habitat.[citation needed] The species is endangered by the following: slash and burn farming, mining, bamboo and other logging, and slingshot hunting.[6]

It has been named one of "The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 117. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ Andrainarivo, C., Andriaholinirina, V. N., Feistner, A., Felix, T., Ganzhorn, J., Garbutt, N., Golden, C., Konstant, B., Louis Jr., E., Meyers, D., Mittermeier, R. A., Perieras, A., Princee, F., Rabarivola, J. C., Rakotosamimanana, B., Rasamimanana, H., Ratsimbazafy, J., Raveloarinoro, G., Razafimanantsoa, A., Rumpler, Y., Schwitzer, C., Thalmann, U., Wilmé, L. & Wright, P. (2008). Prolemur simus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  3. ^ Godfrey, L.R.; Wilson, Jane M.; Simons, E.L.; Stewart, Paul D.; Vuillaume-Randriamanantena, M. (1996). "Ankarana: window to Madagascar's past". Lemur News 2: 16–17. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Jane M.; Godfrey, L.R.; Simons, E.L.; Stewart, Paul D.; Vuillaume-Randriamanantena, M. (1995). "Past and Present Lemur Fauna at Ankarana, N. Madagascar". Primate Conservation 16: 47–52. 
  5. ^ Wilson, Jane (1995). Lemurs of the Lost World: exploring the forests and Crocodile Caves of Madagascar. Impact, London. pp. 139–143. ISBN 978-1-874687-48-1. 
  6. ^ a b Conniff, Richard (April 2006). "For the Love of Lemurs". Smithsonian (Smithsonian Institution) 37 (1): 102–109. 
  7. ^ Pat Wright (July 2008). "A Proposal from Greater Bamboo Lemur Conservation Project". SavingSpecies. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Kurt Gron (July 22, 2010). "Greater bamboo lemur". Primate Info Net. Wisconsin Primate Research Center (WPRC) Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Mittermeier, R.A.; Wallis, J.; Rylands, A.B.; Ganzhorn, J.U.; Oates, J.F.; Williamson, E.A.; Palacios, E.; Heymann, E.W.; Kierulff, M.C.M.; Yongcheng, L.; Supriatna, J.; Roos, C.; Walker, S.; Cortés-Ortiz, L.; Schwitzer, C., eds. (2009). Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates 2008–2010 (PDF). Illustrated by S.D. Nash. Arlington, VA: IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group (PSG), International Primatological Society (IPS), and Conservation International (CI). pp. 1–92. ISBN 978-1-934151-34-1. 

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