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Lemur catta

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES LEMURIDAE

Scientific Name: Lemur catta
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name/s:
English Ring-tailed Lemur
French Maki Catta, Lémur Catta
Spanish Lemur Colianillado

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
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., Sussman, R., Thalmann, U., Wilmé, L. & Wright, P.
Reviewer/s: Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Near Threatened as the species is thought to have undergone a reduction of 20-25% over the past 24 years (assuming a generation length of 8 years) due primarily to a decline in area and quality of habitat within the known range of the species and due to known levels of exploitation. Almost qualifies as threatened under criterion A2cd.
History:
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Ring-tailed Lemur is found in the dry forests and bush of southern and south-western Madagascar. The north-western boundary is north of the Mangoky River at Belo sur Mer or Mahababoky and slightly more inland within the Kirindy-Mitea National Park. The south-eastern limit ends at the divide between the western and eastern watersheds, which is aligned with the division between western dry and eastern humid vegetation types. All records from the Andohahela National Park are from the extreme western portion, at the ecotone between dry and humid forests. The north-eastern limit is more complex; the most north-easterly site is Ankafina, but this is from an animal collected in 1881 (see Goodman et al. 2006). A seemingly isolated population also occurs at altitudes up to 2,600 m in the mountains of Andringitra on the south-eastern plateau (Goodman and Langrand 1996; Yoder et al. 1999). Throughout the range of this species, its distribution is best described as patchy. Sussman et al. (2003) consider that the overall geographical distribution of Ring-tailed Lemurs has not changed much over the past 50 years, and may even be wider than previously thought.
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population densities vary with habitat type, but are generally low, ranging from 100 individuals/km² in the dry forests of the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve to 250 individuals/km² and 600 individuals/km² in the gallery forests and secondary forests of the Berenty Private Reserve, respectively (see Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits many habitat types throughout its range in the southern third of Madagascar, including spiny bush, lowland gallery forest, anthropogenic savanna, dry deciduous forest, rock canyons and upland inland areas. Indeed, at the upper portion of its elevation range on Andringitra, the species occurs in a zone above the forest line and in a vast expanse of vertical rock, with up to 400-m tall talwegs, surrounded by ericoid savanna. It encounters the most extreme climatic conditions on the island from the hottest and driest to the coldest (Andringitra Massif). It has a varied diet, and does not seem to be constrained by available water sources (Goodman et al. 2006). This is the best-studied of Madagascar's lemurs; its biology and ecology have been summarized most recently by Jolly (2003) and Mittermeier et al. (2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and hunting are the greatest causes of concern. The Ring-tailed Lemur has a strong preference for gallery forests and for Euphorbia bush, but these habitats are already restricted in southern Madagascar and continue to diminish due to annual burning practices that help create new pasture for livestock. Subsequent over-grazing and the felling of trees for charcoal production further impact wildlife populations. This species is also hunted for food in certain areas and frequently kept as a pet.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is found in a number of protected areas including six national parks (Andohahela, Andringitra, Isalo, Kirindy-Mitea, Tsimanampetsotsa, Zombitse, and Vohibasia), three special reserves (Beza Mahafaly, Kalambatritra and southern Pic d'Ivohibe), and the Berenty Private Reserve. It has also been reported recently from the unprotected forests of Ankoba, Ankodida, Anjatsikolo, Bereny, Mahazoarivo, Masiabiby, and Mikea (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein). Many of the best remaining forest patches within the range of L. catta, and where it appears to occur at the highest densities, are found on sacred lands (Sussman et al. 2003)
Citation: 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., Sussman, R., Thalmann, U., Wilmé, L. & Wright, P. 2008. Lemur catta. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 April 2014.
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