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Varecia variegata ssp. editorum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES LEMURIDAE

Scientific Name: Varecia variegata ssp. editorum
Species Authority: (Osman Hill, 1953)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Southern Ruffed Lemur

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2cd 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:
Listed as Critically Endangered as the taxon is suspected to have undergone a population decline of ≥80% over a period of 21 years (3 generations), due primarily to observed and inferred continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat due to slash-and-burn agriculture, logging and mining, in addition to exploitation through unsustainable hunting pressure. These causes have not ceased, and will to a large extent not be easily reversible.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The range extends very patchily from the forests of Mantadia National Park in the north to just south of Mananjary, in lowland to mid-altitude rain forests (sea level to 1,300 m) in eastern Madagascar. The distributions of V. v. editorum and V. v. variegata appear to overlap, and intermediate forms may exist, but so far, neither field surveys nor genetic studies have reliably confirmed this (Mittermeier et al. 2008).
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population numbers are in decline due to habitat loss and hunting.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Varecia variegata editorum inhabits lowland to mid-altitude primary and secondary rainforests (sea level to 1,300 m). The diet consists mainly of large ripe fruits, supplemented with young leaves, seeds, flowers, and nectar according to season. Breeding behaviour is polygamous. Reproduction varies considerably between years, with the interbirth interval being at least two years. Mating takes place between May and July, with females only fertile for one day out of each year. Births occur from September through early November after a mere 90 – 102 day gestation period. Newborns are rather poorly developed at first – each weighing just under 100 g – but are able to see and grow very rapidly. The young attain roughly three-quarters of their adult body weight by four months of age. Females reach sexual maturity at just under two years, while males take three to four years to attain maturity. Varecia variegata editorum has been studied in Ranomafana National Park and in the Manombo Special Reserve. One group was observed to live in a 197-ha home range, and was monogamous  (Mittermeier et al. 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted for food. Studies of villages in the Makira Forest have found that ruffed lemur meat is a desired food item, and that current levels of hunting are unsustainable.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats are habitat loss due to slash-and-burn agriculture, logging, and mining, but hunting is also a major factor and can be very heavy in certain areas. The species as a whole is very patchily distributed, the result of its dependency on low- to mid-altitude primary forest and its susceptibility to hunting and trapping.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Listed on CITES Appendix I. The species as a whole is very patchily distributed, the result of its dependency on low- to mid-altitude primary forest and its susceptibility to hunting and trapping. V. v. editorum occurs naturally in two national parks (Mantadia and Ranomafana) and in the Manombo Special Reserve, as well as in the Anosibe an' Ala Classified Forest and in the unprotected forests of Fandriana (proposed as a national park), Kianjavato, Lakia, Maromizaha, Tolongoina, and Vatovavy. However, since the distribution areas of V. v. editorum and V. v. variegata seem to overlap, some of the aforementioned localities might also hold populations of individuals with a variegata coat pattern. Past studies indicated its presence in Andringitra National Park, but recent surveys have failed to find it there. The original population in the Analamazaotra Special Reserve was extirpated by the 1980s, but it was successfully reintroduced in 2006 by E.E. Louis Jr. and a team of Malagasy researchers. As of 2009, there were no members of this subspecies reported in captivity (ISIS 2009). 

Bibliography [top]

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

Mittermeier, R., Louis, E., Hawkins, F., Langrand, O., Ganzhorn, J., Konstant, W., Rasoloarison, R., Rajaobelina, S. and Richardson, M. 2008. Lemurs of Madagascar, 3rd edition. Conservation International.


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. Varecia variegata ssp. editorum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 August 2014.
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