Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Brown lemurs live in cohesive groups without a noticeable hierarchy, generally numbering from 3 to 12 individuals, although five to seven seems to be average (2) (6). Breeding occurs in June (6), with a single offspring born between September and October, after a gestation period of approximately 120 days (5) (6). White-fronted brown lemurs can live up to 30 years (2) (5). This species is cathemeral, meaning it is active at varying times throughout the day and night. Fruit, mature leaves, flowers, bark, sap, soil, insects, centipedes and millipedes form the bulk of this lemur's diet (7).
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Description

This medium-sized lemur has a horizontal posture, which is suited to its predominantly quadrupedal mode of movement (2). These lemurs are also capable of leaping considerable distances, their long furry tails assisting them in maintaining their balance (5). This lemur is generally dark brown with a lighter underside (5). Males have a black face surrounded by a distinctive snowy white forehead, crown, beard and throat (6). The head, face and muzzle of the female are dark grey, but without the bushy cheeks of the male (2).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found throughout most of the rainforest that remains in northeastern Madagascar, occurring from the Bemarivo River, near Sambava, south to the region of Mananara Nord, including the Masoala Peninsula. There is an isolated population in the Betampona Nature Reserve, and they have been introduced to Nosy Mangabe. Distribution south of Mananara remains to be clarified as there is significant hybridization with E. fulvus over a wide area (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein). This species is not found on the Makira plateau as once believed. It ranges from sea level to 1,670 m.
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Range

Restricted to north-eastern Madagascar (2).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is an arboreal species found in tropical moist forest. It is believed to be cathemeral, active both day and night throughout the year. Females are reported to feed more heavily than males on flowers during the dry season, typically a time of resource abundance during which they also are more likely to give birth. Fecundity has been measured at 0.2 – 0.7 babies per adult female per year, with most adult females producing offspring each year (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein). Home range is approximately 16ha (Vasey 1997). Infant mortality in captivity was 17% within 30 days (Watson et al. 1996). Group size is 3.1 + or - 1.9 individuals (Sterling and McFadden 2000) and the adult sex ratio (#F/#M) is 1.16 +or - 0.06 (Rakotondratsima and Kremen 2001).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Found in moist lowland and montane rainforest (4). Brown lemurs are arboreal and spend most of their time in the upper layers of the forest (7).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2cde

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Andriaholinirina, N., Baden, A., Blanco, M., Chikhi, L., Cooke, A., Davies, N., Dolch, R., Donati, G., Ganzhorn, J., Golden, C., Groeneveld, L.F., Rakotoarisoa, G., Rakotomanga, B., Rakotonanahary, J., Rakotondrainibe, H., Rakotondratsimba, G., Rakotondratsimba, M., Rakotonirina, L., Ralainasolo, F.B., Ralison, J., Ramahaleo, T., Ranaivoarisoa, J.F., Randrianahaleo, S.I., Randrianambinina, B., Randrianarimanana, L., Randrianasolo, H., Randriatahina, G., Rasamimananana, H., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Rasoloharijaona, S., Ratelolahy, F., Ratsimbazafy, J., Ratsimbazafy, N., Razafindraibe, H., Razafindramanana, J., Rowe, N., Salmona, J., Seiler, M., Volampeno, S., Wright, P., Youssouf, J., Zaonarivelo, J. & Zaramody, A.

Reviewer/s
Schwitzer, C. & Molur, S.

Contributor/s

Justification

Listed as Endangered as the species is suspected to have undergone a population decline of ≥50% over a period of 24 years (three generations), due primarily to continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat, in addition to exploitation through unsustainable hunting pressure. There is also significant hybridization with E. fulvus over a wide area. These causes have not ceased, and will to a large extent not be easily reversible.


History
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/least concern
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
  • 1994
    Rare
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Rare
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1990
    Rare
    (IUCN 1990)
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Status

Classified as Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1), although classified here as a subspecies (Eulemur fulvus albifrons) of the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus), which is also listed under Appendix I of CITES (3). Recent scientific thought is that the white-fronted brown lemur should be elevated to species status, as Eulmur albifrons (4).
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Population

Population
Population density has been estimated at around 15 individuals/km2 on the Masoala Peninsula (Rakotondratsima and Kremen 2001).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats

Destruction of Madagascar’s eastern rain forests, primarily through slash-and -burn practices and selective logging (but also through mining for quartz), is the principal threat to the survival of E. albifrons in Masoala and Marojejy. The species is also hunted for food in many parts of its range, with especially high rates in the Makira Protected Area (Golden 2009). This was the most heavily hunted species in Makira (using both traps and firearms, although the latter are very few in the region), where it was the most heavily hunted of all lemurs (Golden 2005, 2009).

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Destruction of the rainforest in north-eastern Madagascar by slash-and-burn agriculture is particularly acute, and constitutes the primary threat to the white-fronted lemur. Hunting and trapping for food or the pet trade may also pose a significant threat to this lemur in many parts of its range (2).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. This species is found in three national parks (Mananara-Nord, Marojejy, and Masoala), in the Betampona Strict Nature Reserve, and in two special reserves (Anjanaharibe-Sud and Nosy Mangabe) (Mittermeier et al. 2008). Control of hunting within the range is urgently required. There is a relatively large worldwide captive population. As of 2009 there were approximately 150 white-fronted brown lemurs in zoos around the world (ISIS 2009). New threats to the northeastern rainforests from illegal rosewood harvesting and the flux of immigration that ensued from these behaviours following the transition in government have brought increased threat to this species. Further, increased levels of hunting have been recorded in the Makira Protected Area (Golden unpublished data).

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Conservation

The white-fronted brown lemur's presence has been confirmed in six protected areas, including three national parks, one nature reserve and two special reserves (4). Captive bred populations also exist in institutions worldwide (5). The fate of the white-fronted brown lemur will most probably be determined by the future of its forest habitat, which needs to be better preserved if the survival of this lemur is to be safeguarded.
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Wikipedia

White-headed lemur

The white-headed lemur (Eulemur albifrons), also known as the white-headed brown lemur, white-fronted brown lemur, or white-fronted lemur, is a species of primate in the Lemuridae family. It is only found in north-eastern Madagascar. It is arboreal and are usually found in rainforest tree tops.

Physical characteristics[edit]

The white-headed lemur is a medium-sized lemur and has a horizontal posture, which is suited to its way of movement. It has a long furry tail assisting it in maintaining its balance as it lands from leaping at a considerable distance. Males have gray-brown upper parts, with darker lower limbs and tail, paler gray upper parts, gray head and face and a darker crown. Females have redder-brown upper parts, paler underparts and darker feet than males. The cheeks and beards are white, bushy and pronounced in males, reddish-brown and less bushy in females. The head, face and muzzle of the female are dark gray, but without the bushy cheeks of the male. The white-headed lemur has an average body weight of 2.3 kg, and body length of 40 cm, and its tail can grow up to 50 cm.

It is likely that, as with other lemurs in the genus family, the maximum lifespan in the wild ranges between 20 and 25 years. In captivity it can live up to 36 years.

The species was previously classified as Eulemur fulvus albifrons, a subspecies of the common brown lemur, and although very similar in appearance genetic analysis supports distinct species status.[citation needed]

Habitat and range[edit]

This lemur is mostly found in moist lowland and montane rainforests. The white-headed lemur is arboreal and spends most of its time in the upper layers of the forest. It is only found in north-eastern Madagascar.

Behaviour and mating[edit]

This species is cathemeral, meaning it is active at varying times throughout the day and night. It has an omnivorous diet consisting of fruit, mature leaves, flowers, bark, sap, soil, insects, centipedes and millipedes.

The mating system of this lemur has not been reported. However, other species in the genus Eulemur are either monogamous or polygynous. It is likely that the white-headed lemur is similar. For the first three weeks of its life, a young lemur hangs onto its mother's belly, altering its grasp only to nurse. After three weeks have passed, it shifts and rides on the mother's back. It then starts to take its first steps. Following this, it starts to sample solid food, nibbling on whatever the other members of the group happen to be eating. This is its first sign of independence. Nursing continues but its importance in the infant's diet tapers. The young lemur is weaned after approximately 4 to 6 months - usually by January.

Unlike other members of the genus, females are not usually dominant to males, so the degree to which females exert active mate choice is not known. It forms multi-male multi-female groups. Depending on the population, the size of these groups can vary, possibly including up to 40 individuals.

Status[edit]

Eulemur albifrons is classified as lower risk/near threatened on the IUCN Red List in 2004, although it is classified there as a subspecies (Eulemur fulvus albifrons) of the common brown lemur.[2]

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. 114. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ a b Andriaholinirina, N., Baden, A., Blanco, M., Chikhi, L., Cooke, A., Davies, N., Dolch, R., Donati, G., Ganzhorn, J., Golden, C., Groeneveld, L.F., Rakotoarisoa, G., Rakotomanga, B., Rakotonanahary, J., Rakotondrainibe, H., Rakotondratsimba, G., Rakotondratsimba, M., Rakotonirina, L., Ralainasolo, F.B., Ralison, J., Ramahaleo, T., Ranaivoarisoa, J.F., Randrianahaleo, S.I., Randrianambinina, B., Randrianarimanana, L., Randrianasolo, H., Randriatahina, G., Rasamimananana, H., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Rasoloharijaona, S., Ratelolahy, F., Ratsimbazafy, J., Ratsimbazafy, N., Razafindraibe, H., Razafindramanana, J., Rowe, N., Salmona, J., Seiler, M., Volampeno, S., Wright, P., Youssouf, J., Zaonarivelo, J. & Zaramody, A. (2014). "Eulemur albifrons". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
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