Overview

Brief Summary

Lepilemur ankaranensis, the Ankarana sportive lemur or Ankarana weasel lemur, is one of 20+ sportive lemur species (family Lepilerumidae).  All sportive lemurs are native to and found exclusively in Madagascar.  This species was not recognized until recent cytogenetic and molecular analyses revealed five (morphologically indistinguishable) populations of Lepilemur septentrionalis.  These studies found that the four populations inhabiting the regions of Ankarana, Ambohitra (containing the Montagne d’Ambre national park), Andrafiamenta and Analamera were interbreeding (and are now designated L. ankaranensis) but the fifth, numbering an estimated 150 individuals in the northeast Madagascar Sahafary region, was found to have chromosomal rearrangements making it genetically isolated from the other four (now designated L. septentrionalis; Rumpler et al. 2001, Ravaoarimanana et al. 2004).  The two distinct lineages appear to have diverged about 500 years ago.  Ravaoarimanana et al. (2004) recommend recognition of these as two cryptic species in order to insure that both (especially the critically vulnerable L. septentrionalis) are protected.

The four L. ankarana sportive lemur populations (as well as L. septentrionalis) inhabit moist evergreen forests and dry deciduous forests and are most numerous in the moist Ankarana forests.  Among the smallest of the sportive lemurs, they measure a total adult length of about 53 cm (21 in), including 25 cm (10 in) of tail.   They forage on leaves as solitary individuals at night and hide in tree hole shelters by day.  The fragmented nature and small size of their habitat, which is decreasing especially in areas of charcoal harvesting, as well as ongoing hunting pressure makes these animals vulnerable to extinction (Andrainarivo et al. 2013).

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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found in northern Madagascar in the forests of Ankarana, Andrafiamena, and Analamerana, from low elevations to 1,500 m. It appears to be sympatric with L. milanoii in the Andrafiamena Classified Forest. Field studies are needed to determine how these two species share the same forest. This is the only area where two Lepilemur species evidently occur in sympatry. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be less than 1,880 km2.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Occurs in dry deciduous forests and also in moist evergreen forest. The natural history of this species remains poorly studied by comparison to that of sportive lemurs inhabiting western and southern Madagascar. Adults seem to remain solitary during nightly bouts of foraging for leaves. Tree holes and vine tangles are preferred daytime shelters. The Madagascar ground boa is known to prey upon sportive lemurs in their sleeping sites. A study of this species in degraded secondary forest fragments south of Montagne dAmbre National Park found that the animals eat a high proportion of fruits during the rainy season when fruits are abundant, whereas they only eat leaves during the dry season. The fruits of five plant families were consumed: Moraceae, Verbenaceae, Rubiaceae, Pittosporaceae, and one that was not identified. The species has also been observed to feed on latex (Mittermeier et al. 2008 and references therein).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(i,iii,v)

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., 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.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
The extent of occurrence (EOO) of this species covers less than 1,880 km. This geographic range is severely fragmented and undergoing continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat. The number of mature individuals is also known to be in decline. Based on these premises, the species is listed as Endangered.

History
  • Endangered (EN)
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Population

Population
Population densities have been variously estimated between 150 and 550 individuals/km (Ratsirarson and Rumpler 1988, Hawkins et al. 1990), the higher figures coming from more humid forest environments such as Ankarana.Population numbers are in decline due to habitat loss (Mittermeier et al. 2008).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The major threats to this species are forest loss, particularly for charcoal (such as in Analamerana and Andrafiamena), and hunting (exacerbated by mining in the region for sapphires).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. The species is found in Montagne dAmbre National Park and in three special reserves (Analamerana, Ankarana, and Fret dAmbre), as well as in the Andrafiamena Classified Forest (Mittermeier et al. 2008). Improved management and protection of Analamerana is urgently required, and long-term scientific presence within the existing reserve is encouraged. Andrafiamena should be included within a protected area.
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Wikipedia

Ankarana sportive lemur

The Ankarana sportive lemur (Lepilemur ankaranensis), or Ankarana weasel lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is one of the smaller sportive lemurs with a total length of about 53 centimeters, including 25 centimeters of tail. Average body weight is approximately 750 grams.[4] The Ankarana sportive lemur is found in northern Madagascar, living in dry lowland forests in Ankarana, Andrafiamena and Analamerana, and in moist montane forest of Montagne d'Ambre.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Andriaholinirina, N. et al. (2014). "Lepilemur ankaranensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  2. ^ "Checklist of CITES Species". CITES. UNEP-WCMC. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  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. 118. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  4. ^ a b Mittermeier, R.A.; Konstant, W.R.; Hawkins, F.; Louis, E.E. et al. (2006). Lemurs of Madagascar. Illustrated by S.D. Nash (2nd ed.). Conservation International. ISBN 1-881173-88-7. OCLC 883321520. 


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