Lepilemur sahamalazensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lepilemur sahamalazensis
Species Authority: Andriaholinirina, Fausser, Roos, Rabarivola, Ravoarimanana, Zinner, Thalmann, Ganzhorn <i>et al</i>., 2006
Common Name/s:
English Sahamalaza Peninsula Sportive Lemur, Sahamalaza Sportive Lemur
French Lépilémur De Sahamalaza
Taxonomic Notes: Zinner et al. (2007) examined conflicting results in the genetic analysis of sportive lemurs in north-west Madagascar, those within in the range of what once considered to be Lepilemur dorsalis. Since the type localities of L. dorsalis Gray, 1871 and L. grandidieri Forsyth Major, 1894, were both “Northwest Madagascar”, the proper name of one or two of the new species from the region (sahamalazensis, grewcocki, mittermeieri, tymlerachsoni) could be either of these two. The true "dorsalis", as such, had not been identified, and no attempt has been made to identify grandidieri, formerly a junior synonym of dorsalis. Genetic analysis of the holotypes of dorsalis and grandidieri is needed to resolve this. Zinner et al. (2007) indicated, therefore, that tymerlachsoni and/or mittermeieri might be junior synonyms.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Olivieri, G., Schwitzer, C., Schwitzer, N. & Craul, M.
Reviewer/s: Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Provisionally listed as Data Deficient as this species is only recently described, its taxonomic status is unclear relative to other recently described lemurs in northwest Madagascar, and further information is required to determine its limits of distribution and population status. If indeed this species is shown to have a genuinely restricted range on the Sahamalaza Peninsula, then given threats known to be operating, it will almost certainly warrant listing as at least Endangered (like the sympatric Eulemur macaco flavifrons).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Restricted to the Sahamalaza Peninsula in coastal north-western Madagascar. The northern boundary of the range is likely to be the Sambirano River (Andriaholinirina et al. 2006), but precise limits, especially with L. dorsalis, remain unclear.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: One of 15 new species of Lepilemur described in 2006. Olivieri et al. (2005) recorded an encounter rate of 4.17 individuals/km in the forest of Ankarafa. This high encounter rate could be due to recent loss of habitat, forcing all animals to concentrate in the few remaining forest fragments.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Sahamalaza peninsula is part of a transition zone between the Sambirano region in the north and the western dry deciduous forest region in the south. The species inhabits both primary and secondary forests.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although much of the known distribution is within a recently declared protected area, forest clearing for agriculture, and timber-cutting for charcoal and construction continue. They are also subject to hunting. Further studies are needed to determine the extent of both threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Listed on CITES Appendix I. The species is present in the recently established Parc National de Sahamalaza – Iles Radama (Aire Protégée Terrestre, Marine et Côtière) which is part of the Malagasy protected area network managed through the Association Nationale pour la Gestion des Aires Protégées (ANGAP). The Sahamalaza Peninsula is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (declared in 2001). A consortium of AEECL, WCS, ANGAP and the local communities are currently establishing structures to ensure a better protection of the very few remaining forest fragments in the park (Schwitzer et al. 2006). Further work is now urgently needed to clarify the distribution and taxonomic limits of the recently described Lepilemur species.
Citation: Olivieri, G., Schwitzer, C., Schwitzer, N. & Craul, M. 2008. Lepilemur sahamalazensis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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