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Cheirogaleus major

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES CHEIROGALEIDAE

Scientific Name: Cheirogaleus major
Species Authority: É. Geoffroy, 1812
Common Name(s):
English Geoffroy's Dwarf Lemur, Greater Dwarf Lemur
French Grand Cheirogale
Spanish Gran Lemur Ardilla
Synonym(s):
Cheirogaleus ravus Groves, 2000
Taxonomic Notes: Based on the general metapopulation lineage concept and multiple sources of data, Groeneveld et al. (2009) clarified the exclusivity of three of the seven recognized dwarf lemur species: C. major, C.medius and C. crossleyi. These three species were found to be genealogically exclusive in both mtDNA and nDNA loci, and furthermore, they exhibit morphological distinctiveness. Molecular and morphometric data support the hypothesis that C. adipicaudatus and C. ravus are synonymous with C. medius and C. major, respectively.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-07-11
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): Molur, S. & Schwitzer, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Clark, F.
Justification:

Given the continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat, in addition to fragmentation throughout its range, this species is assumed to be in decline. However, taxonomic work is required to elucidate more clearly the taxonomic and geographic limits of the species, and therefore the available data on this species were found to be insufficient to place it in a threatened category. Based on these premises, C. major is listed as Data Deficient. Further studies into population status, geographic distribution, and threats may warrant listing this taxon in a threatened category in the future.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found northeastern and western central Madagascar. According to the most recent information from Groeneveld et al. (2009), C. major is found from the southeastern tip of the island near Tolagnaro (= Fort-Dauphin) all the way up to near the northern tip, with an additional, small population isolate in the central-west. The southern limit of its distribution is particularly interesting, since C. medius and C. crossleyi can also be found in the same general region, although not to date in the same forests. Andreas Hapke has found C. major in the humid forests of the Vohimena and Anosy mountains and the littoral forest at Mandena, and believes it might also occur in Sainte-Luce, but this has yet to be confirmed. C. crossleyi and C. medius, on the other hand, occur in humid forest remnants in the Lavasoa-Ambatotsirongorongo Mountains (west of Fort-Dauphin), and C. medius also in the littoral forests of Petriky, Mandena and Sainte-Luce. The Tsaratanana Corridor (Beamalona site) and restricted to the forest areas within Bemanevika area at Bealanana. Ranges from sea level to 1,800 m.
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population densities have been estimated at 59–110 individuals/km2 in different locations. However, it should be noted that a number of these observations were made in Andasibe (= Périnet), which would mean that they refer to C. crossleyi under the new taxonomic arrangement of Groves (2000).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is an inhabitant of Madagascar’s eastern lowland and montane forests where conditions of water and food availability are not as seasonally severe as in the drier western deciduous forests. The species prepares for hibernation by storing excess fat in its tail, perhaps representing as much as 30% of its total body mass; it hibernates in tree holes and hollows (Wright and Martin 1995). Home ranges of adult females extend up to 4 ha and appear to include those of adult males and juveniles as well. Sleeping groups of up to three adult animals have been observed both in tree holes and clumps of vegetation. Mating behavior ensues shortly after emergence from torpor in October and November, females giving birth to two to three infants in January after a gestation of about 70 days (Petter-Rousseaux 1964). However, a number of observations of this species, cited here and elsewhere in this account, were made in Andasibe (= Périnet), and probably refer to C. crossleyi.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is presumably undergoing localized declines due to habitat loss from slash-and-burn agriculture.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. This species is still widespread and abundant despite recent taxonomic splitting. It is reported to occur in eight national parks (Andohahela, Andringitra, Mananara-Nord, Marojejy, Masoala, Midongy du Sud, Montagne d' Ambre, and Ranomafana), two strict nature reserves (Betampona and Tsaratanana), three special reserves (Anjanaharibe-Sud, Mangerivola and Pic d’Ivohibe), and in the Mandena Conservation Zone, east of Tolagnaro. Population densities in some of these locations seem to be comparatively low, and C. major shows a negative edge effect (densities are lower in closer proximity to the forest edge). Taxonomic work is urgently required to elucidate more clearly the taxonomic and geographic limits of the species. Tzimbazaza Zoo in Antananarivo has five individuals of this species and Zurich Zoo has one (ISIS 2009, I. J. Porton pers. comm.).



Citation: 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. Cheirogaleus major. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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