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Avahi cleesei

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES INDRIIDAE

Scientific Name: Avahi cleesei
Species Authority: Thalmann & Geissmann, 2005
Common Name(s):
English Bemaraha Woolly Lemur, John Cleese's Avahi
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomic validity of this species was confirmed by Andriantompohavana et al. in 2007 and Lei et al. in 2008.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,iii) 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.
Justification:
The extent of occurrence of this species covers less than 2,820 km². This geographic range is severely fragmented and undergoing continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat. Based on these premises, the species is listed as Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from the Tsingy de Bemaraha region of western Madagascar, north of the Manambolo River (Thalmann and Geissman 2005). The northern limit of its range is unclear and there is no evidence of its occurrence between the Sambao and Mahavavy Rivers or between the Mahavavy and Betsiboka Rivers (Thalmann and Geissmann 2005). Currently, it is known only from within Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, where it has been sighted in two localities, in the forest of Ankindrodro (19°08′S, 44°49′E;) and the type locality (18°59′S, 44°45′E), a forest 3–4 km east-northeast of the village of Ambalarano at the base of the western Tsingy precipice (Thalmann and Geissmann 2006). The species was previously outside the reserve’s boundaries in 1994, in the heavily disturbed forest in the surroundings of the village of Ankinajao (19°03′S, 44°47′E; Thalmann and Geissmann 2000). However, the forest was completely destroyed since these sightings at Ankinajao, and no woolly lemurs have been found there since 2003 (Thalmann and Geissmann 2006). The estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is less than 3,000 km².
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Thalmann and Geissmann (2000) describe Avahi as being generally rare in the Bemaraha region, where the forests it inhabits tend to have a high proportion of evergreen trees. Ironically, local population densities appear to correlate negatively with levels of habitat disturbance, meaning that higher population densities seem to be found in disturbed habitats. Population numbers are in decline overall.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Avahi cleesei occurs in subhumid, dry deciduous forests close to the western Tsingy precipices, in the larger Tsingy crevasses or gorges, and forests along small seasonal rivulets and seasonal swamps close to the Bemaraha massif (Thalmann and Geissmann 2006).Avahi clessei's total length ranges from 55.2 to 67.5 cm. Its average weight ranges from 750 to 1,300 g (Thanlmann and Geissmann 2005, Zaramody et al. 2006, Lei et al. 2008). Its woolly dorsal fur is brown-gray and its thin ventral fur is light gray whilst the fur on the tail varies between individuals. White patches on the dorsal surface of the hindlimb is unique to this species
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by continued habitat loss. Thalman and Geissmann (2005, 2006) note that the disturbed forest close to the village of Ankinajao (outside the park), which supported a substantial number of individuals in 1994, had been cut completely by 2003. The subhumid forest at the base of the escarpment of the Tsingy de Bemaraha is under continuous pressure from bush fires that reduce it in many places every year—in some places to only a few meters in width. Such subhumid forests are the only habitat in which Avahi cleesei is known to occur so far.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Listed on CITES Appendix I. The only protected areas in which it is known to occur are the continguous Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park and Strict Nature Reserve. Given the extremely small known range of Cleese’s Woolly Lemur, surveys are obviously urgently needed to find additional populations. The species was not being kept in captivity as of 2010 (I.J. Porton pers. comm.).


Bibliography [top]

Andriantompohavana, R., Lei, R., Zaonarivelo, J., Engberg, S., Nalanirina, G., McGuire, S., Shore, G., Andrianasolo, J., Herrington, K., Brenneman, R. and Louis, E. 2007. Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the woolly lemurs, genus Avahi (primates: Lemuriformes). Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 51: 1-60.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2014).

Lei, R., Engberg, S.E., Andriantompohavana, R., McGuire, S.M., Mittermeier, R.A., Zaonarivelo, J.R., Brenneman, R.A. and Louis Jr., E.E. 2008. Nocturnal lemur diversity at Masoala National Park. Special Publications of the Museum of Texas Tech University 53: 1-48.

Thalmann, U. and Geissmann, T. 2000. Distribution and geographic variation in the western woolly lemur (Avahi occidentalis) with description of a new species (A. unicolor). International Journal of Primatology 21: 915-941.

Thalmann, U. and Geissmann, T. 2005. New species of woolly lemur Avahi (primates: Lemuriformes) in Bemaraha (central western Madagascar). American Journal of Primatology 67(3): 371–376.

Thalmann, U. and Geissmann, T. 2006. Conservation Assessment of the Recently Described John Cleese’s Woolly Lemur, Avahi cleesei (Lemuriformes, Indridae). Primate Conservation 21: 45-49.

Zaramody, A., Fausser, J.-L., Roos, C., Zinner, D., Andriaholinirina, N., Rabarivola, C., Norscia, I., Tattersall, I. and Rumpler, Y. 2006. Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the eastern woolly lemurs (Avahi laniger). Primate Report 74: 9–23.


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. Avahi cleesei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 September 2014.
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