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Eulemur macaco

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES LEMURIDAE

Scientific Name: Eulemur macaco
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Black Lemur
Synonym(s):
Eulemur macaco subspecies macaco (Linnaeus, 1766)
Taxonomic Notes: Previously considered to have two subspecies: E. m. macaco, and E. m. flavifrons. After the elevation of all former Eulemur fulvus subspecies to full species status (Mittermeier et al. 2006), Eulemur macaco remained the only member of the genus divided into subspecies (E. m. macaco and E. m. flavifrons). The retention of this taxonomy is inappropriate taking into account the consistency of the morphological differences between the Black Lemur and the Blue-eyed Black Lemur. The pairwise genetic distances between macaco and flavifrons are 68–72 bp, which is in the same range as between the former E. fulvus subspecies (29–90 bp, according to Pastorini 2000). Some earlier authors suggested a geographical cline in subspecific traits over a relatively large area of their distribution border (Meyers et al. 1989, Rabarivola et al. 1991), but more recent surveys suggest that the zone of hybridization between the two taxa is restricted to the northeastern part of the distribution of E. flavifrons (Andrianjakarivelo 2004; Schwitzer et al. 2005, 2006). Based on these findings, and in order to restore a consistent taxonomy of Eulemur, the Blue-eyed Black Lemur was raised to full species status by Mittermeier et al. (2008, 2010).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) 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): Schwitzer, C. & Molur, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Chiozza, F. & Clark, F.
Justification:
The extent of occurrence (EOO) of this species covers less than 11,740 km2. 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 Vulnerable.
History:
2013 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in northwestern Madagascar. The Mahavavy River is the northern limit of the range, and the Andranomalaza River forms part of the southern boundary. The eastern limit is poorly defined, but likely occurs at the Tsaratanana Massif. There are further populations in the forests of the Ampasindava Peninsula, on the islands of Nosy Be and Nosy Komba, and in the coastal forests northeast of Ambanja (including the peninsula leading to Nosy Faly). It has also been introduced to the small island of Nosy Tanikely. This species (as well as its hybrids) is sympatric with E. fulvus on the Galoko, Manongarivo, and Tsaratanana Massifs and in the Ifasy and Ramena river valleys, and with E. rubriventer on the Tsaratanana Massif. Ranges from sea level up to 1,600 m. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be less than 11,740 km2
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Based on a population survey conducted in Nosy Faly Penisula and in Manongarivo Special reserve, the species occurs in high densities from 48.35 to 398.93 individuals/km2 (Rakotoarinivo et al. 2011). Numbers are, however, in decline due to habitat loss and hunting.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Eulemur macaco is considered to be quite adaptable and has been reported from a wide variety of habitats that include primary forest, secondary forest, forest-agricultural mosaics, and timber plantations. Fruits make up the bulk of the diet throughout the year, except perhaps for a month or so when young leaves, seed pods, flowers and nectar take on greater importance, supplemented with fungi, mushrooms, bark, and invertebrates. Studies in the Lokobe Strict Nature Reserve on Nosy Be and in the forests of the Ambato Massif suggest that the black lemur is a significant pollinator of the Traveller's Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis) and the legume species Parkia madagascariensis. At Lokobe, it also appears to be the sole seed-disperser for many tree species. The species is considered cathemeral, group size ranges from two to 15 animals. The mating season takes place in late April and May and females give birth to a single young, usually between September and November (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein). Weaning occurs at 6–7 months, and sexual maturity at around two years of age. One individual reportedly lived for 27 years and one month in the London Zoo.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is locally hunted for food, and animals are taken as pets.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Illegal timber exploitation, firewood and charcoal production are the main threats to this species (Rakotoarinivo et al. 2011). Slash-and-burn agriculture is a persistent threat to northwestern Madagascar’s remaining forests, where E. macaco is also hunted for food or killed as a crop pest in some areas. Hunting with traps seems to kill females preferentially, as they tend to lead groups in travel. There is also a small, but persistent, trade in this species as pets, particularly on Nosy Be.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. E. macaco is found in one national park (Sahamalaza-Iles Radama), two strict nature reserves (Lokobe and Tsaratanana) and in the Manongarivo Special Reserve. (Nicoll and Langrand 1989, Schwitzer and Lork 2004, Schwitzer 2006). The animals are also present on the island of Nosy Komba, where the local people consider them sacred and where (as on nearby Nosy Tanikely) they serve as a major tourist attraction. In Manongarivo it is reported to be the most common lemur, diurnal or nocturnal (Raxworthy and Rakotondraparany 1988). As of 2009 there were an estimated 160 individuals in captivity worldwide (ISIS 2009).

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. Eulemur macaco. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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