Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Sanford's brown lemurs live in multimale-multifemale groups, generally numbering between four and seven in rainforest areas, but as large as 15 in dry forest regions. Breeding is seasonal with singleinfants generally born in September or early October after a gestation period of approximately 120 days. Brown lemurs reach sexual maturity between one and three years, and the lifespan in the wild is believed to range between 20 and 25 years (2) (5). This species is cathemeral, meaning it is active at varying times throughout the day and night. Fruit forms the bulk of this lemur's diet, although mature leaves, flowers, bark, sap, soil, insects, centipedes and millipedes will also be eaten (2) (6).
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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). Both sexes are dark brown, with a lighter underside and darker areas at the end of the tail. However, females are a reddish-brown while males are more grey-brown in colour (2) (5). The most distinctive difference is the existence of a pronounced creamy-grey beard and prominent ear tufts in the male, that are lacking in the female, which give the male a 'maned' appearance. The male's nose bridge and snout are black, while the female's face and head are completely grey (2).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species has a restricted range in northern Madagascar, the southerly limit being Manambato River. The distribution range is centred on Ankarana, Anamalerana and Montagne d'Ambre, with a disjunct population in Daraina to the southeast. Ranges from sea level to 1,400 m.
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Range

Restricted to the far north of Madagascar (2).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in moist montane, such as on Montagne d'Ambre, and dry deciduous forests. In Ankarana National Park, it appears to favor secondary forest and is active both day and night. These lemurs are absent from very dry forests such as those of Cap d’Ambre, north of Antsiranana, but it is present in those of Daraina, to the south-east. In Ankarana groups may include up to 15 animals, significantly larger than those observed in Montagne d’Ambre, which range from three to nine animals. Mating occurs in late May and births usually take place in late September or early October (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein). Often found associating with E. coronatus, especially in the wet season (Freed 1996).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Found in tropical dry and moist lowland forest, and montane forest (3). Sanford's brown lemurs are arboreal and spend most of their time in the upper layers of the forest (5) (6).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(i,ii,iii,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
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.

Reviewer/s
Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Endangered as the species has a distribution range of less than 5,000 km², the range is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the area and quality of habitat within the range of the species coupled with a loss of mature individuals due to hunting.

History
  • 2000
    Vulnerable
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Vulnerable
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1990
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 1990)
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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU B1+2bc) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1), although classified here as a subspecies (Eulemur fulvus sanfordi) of the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus), which is listed under Appendix I of CITES (4). Recent scientific thought is that Sanford's brown lemur should be elevated to species status, as Eulmur sanfordi (3).
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Population

Population
Sanford’s Brown Lemur occurs at higher densities on the slopes of Montagne d’Ambre and in other evergreen forests than it does in dry deciduous forests of the region, such as those of the Analamerana Special Reserve. On Montagne d'Ambre they are particularly common between 800 and 1,000 m (Freed 1996). In two sites in Analamerana, densities have been recorded at 3.5-5.5 individuals/km²; this species is less abundant and occurs at lower density than Crowned Lemurs in both Analamerana and Ankarana (Banks et al. 2007).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The primary threat to the survival of Sanford’s Brown Lemur is habitat destruction, due to mining for sapphires and slash-and-burn practices, although it does appear to survive in degraded habitats. They are also hunted and commonly kept as pets.
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Habitat destruction remains the primary threat to this lemur, largely as a result of the explosive growth in the human population on Madagascar (2) (5). Having such a small and restricted range accentuates this problem. Hunting and trapping for food or the pet trade also constitute a significant threat to Sanford's brown lemur (2).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is reported to occur in Montagne d’Ambre National Park and in two special reserves (Analamerana and Ankarana). The forests of Daraina, where it is also found, are slated to become a protected area. The species is also represented in captivity.
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Conservation

Sanford's brown lemur occurs in three protected areas and a fourth, the forests of Daraina, soon to be officially declared a protected area (3). However, poaching and brush fires are fairly common events in many of Madagascar's nature reserves, and protection needs to be increased. Only a handful of captive bred populations of this lemur exist around the world (5). The fate of this lemur will most probably be determined by the future of its forest habitat, which needs to be better preserved if the survival of this species is to be safeguarded.
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Wikipedia

Sanford's brown lemur

Sanford's brown lemur (Eulemur sanfordi), or Sanford's lemur,[3] is a species of prosimian primate in the family Lemuridae. Sanford's brown lemur was previously considered a subspecies of the common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) but was raised to full species in 2001.[2] It is named after Leonard Cutler Sanford, a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History.[4]

Physical description[edit]

Male Sanford's lemur
Male Sanford's lemur

Sanford's brown lemur is a medium-sized lemur with a head-to-body length of 38–40 cm, a tail length of 50–55 cm, an overall length of 88–95 cm, and a body weight of 1.8-1.9 kg (about 3-5 lbs).[1]

This species is sexually dichromatic.

Males have a gray to brown dorsal coat which darkens as it reaches the hands, feet and base of the tail. Ventral coat is pale gray to brownish-gray and the tail is dark gray. The nose, muzzle and face are black, with the surrounding area solid white or light gray. Features that distinguish this species from the white-fronted brown lemur are the more prominent ear and cheek tufts. In this species the hair around the ears and on the lower cheek is noticeably longer and has a 'spiked' appearance, while the white-fronted lemur males have a very rounded look to their tufts. The tufts on the Sanford's lemur may be white to cream to rufous, though it is suspected that the darker or rufous variations may be results of hybridization between this species and the crowned lemur which is within the same home range. Male Sanford's brown lemurs also have a light brown 'cap' at the top of the head which the male white-fronted lemur lacks.

Female Sanford's brown lemurs have a gray-brown dorsal coat which darkens to gray around the shoulders and upper area of the back to the top of the head. The ventral coat is a paler gray, and the face is a similar gray color with variable light patches above the eyes. Tail is often darker than the dorsal coat and can range in color from gray-brown to dark gray. From a distance, female Sanford's brown lemurs can be almost indistinguishable from female white-fronted brown lemurs, but at a close range there are a few subtle difference. There is a slight difference in coat color and variation but notable differences are in the face. White-fronted females will have a small light spot at the corner of their mouths, while female Sanford's lack the lip patches and have variable light areas around the eyes. Sanford's brown lemur females also tend to have longer, bushier hair on their cheeks than do white-fronted females.

Behavior and ecology[edit]

Habitat[edit]

This species is found in the very northernmost tip of the island, ranging from Antsiranana to Ampanakana. Their populations are concentrated in a few forests - Ankarana,[5][6] Analamerana and Montagne d'Ambre, with a small disjunct population in the Daraina region. The Manambato river is the southern limit of its range, although hybrids of the Sanford's brown lemur and white-fronted brown lemur appear to occur between Vohemar and Sambava.[1] This species occurs in tropical moist, dry lowland and montane forests up to elevations of 1,400 m.

In Ankarana it appears to favor secondary forest and is active at both day and night.[1][5] Sanford's brown lemur is said to display a cathemeral activity pattern, becoming most active in the afternoon and evening with occasional bouts at night.

Sanford's brown lemur is reported to associate with the crowned lemur during the wet season, a time of greater food availability.[1] This friendly behavior would explain the occasional reports of hybrids between the two species.

Groups[edit]

A group of any lemur species is known as a "troop".

Sanford's brown lemur troop sizes range from 3 to 15 individuals, numbers varying depending on location. Each troop defends a territory of up to 14 hectacres,[7] and will chase off intruding groups with territory calls rather than defending home ranges violently.

There is no evidence of female dominance in this species, which is unusual in the Lemuridae family but appears to be frequent in brown lemur species.

Reproduction[edit]

Mating occurs in late May and births usually take place in late September or early October after a gestation of about 120 days.[1]

Typically only one young is born, but in captivity they could rarely produce twins. As with most true lemur species, newborn Sanford's Lemurs cling to the mother's chest at first and after about 2 weeks they transfer onto her back. Young may be weaned by 3 or 4 months of age and they reach sexual maturity at 2 years.

Diet[edit]

The diet of this species consists primarily of fruit, but includes other plant parts (buds, young leaves, flowers) according to seasonal availability, and also includes the occasional invertebrate (e.g., centipedes, millipedes and spiders).[1] Consumption of insects is thought to be based on removing them rather than for nutrition. These biting invertebrates are a considerable pest and can be potentially harmful to them due to the toxic secretions. A millipede's defensive poison, exuded when a lemur bites or agitates the invertebrate, may be rubbed on the body in a behavior known as "millipede washing" in order to repel biting insects (i.e. malaria-carrying mosquitoes).

Conservation status[edit]

Sanford's brown lemur is considered to be Endangered, and among the rarest of the brown lemurs. There are only 3 or 4 zoos known to house this species as its population in the wild is fairly delicate. Primary threats to its survival are habitat loss due to logging and mining, but hunting is starting to become a significant problem as well. Lemurs are primarily hunted to sell overseas as a delicacy although some poor families may hunt lemurs as food. They are also kept as pets by some local Malagasy people, despite it being illegal, but this hasn't posed a large threat.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mittermeier, RA (2006). Lemurs of Madagascar. pp. 285–257. ISBN 1-881173-88-7.  Data provided by: Terranova and Coffman, 1997
  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., Hapke, A., Irwin, M., Johnson, S., Kappeler, P., King, T., Lewis, R., Louis, E.E., Markolf, M., Mass, V., Mittermeier, R.A., Nichols, R., Patel, E., Rabarivola, C.J., Raharivololona, B., Rajaobelina, S., 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 sanfordi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Beolens, B.; Watkins, M.; Grayson, M. (2009-09-28). The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 357. ISBN 978-0801893049. OCLC 270129903. 
  5. ^ a b Wilson, J.M. et al (1989). "Ecology and Conservation of the Crowned Lemur at Ankarana, N. Madagascar with notes on Sanford's Lemur, Other Sympatrics and Subfossil Lemurs". Folia Primatologica 52: 1–26. doi:10.1159/000156379. 
  6. ^ * Wilson, Jane (1995). Lemurs of the Lost World: exploring the forests and Crocodile Caves of Madagascar. Impact, London. ISBN 978-1-874687-48-1. 
  7. ^ http://lemur.duke.edu/animals/brown/sanfords.php
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