Tarsius dentatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Tarsiidae

Scientific Name: Tarsius dentatus Miller & Hollister, 1921
Common Name(s):
English Dian's Tarsier, Diana Tarsier
Tarsius dianae Niemitz, Nietsch, Warter & Rumpler, 1991
Taxonomic Notes: The form known as T. dianae (Niemitz et al. 1991) is almost certainly a subjective junior synonym of T. dentatus (M. Shekelle pers. comm. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A4c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Shekelle, M., Salim, A. & Merker, S.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
This species is considered Vulnerable based on habitat loss alone, as at least 30% of the habitat has been converted in the past 20 years (approximately 3 generations). From 1990 to 2000, from 15 to 26% of the forest habitat on the island was converted to agriculture (A. Salim pers. comm.), and since that time at least an additional 10% has been lost.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species occurs in the eastern portion of the central core of Sulawesi, Indonesia. The northern boundary is the Isthmus of Palu between Marantale (Shekelleet al. 1997), Ampibabo (Stefan Merker unpubl. data), and Tomini Bay. The species is distributed east to the tip of the eastern peninsula (J. Burton unpubl. data). The western boundary appears to extend at least to the Palu River and south as far as Gimpu (Merker and Groves 2006). The southern boundary from Lore Lindu National Park to the eastern coast of Sulawesi is unknown. In this estimate, the southern border is inferred to be the edge of the main, east-central microplate. This puts the estimated faunal boundary somewhat to the north of the boundary between Macaca tonkeana and M. ochreata.
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia (Sulawesi)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Merker (2003) estimated population densities in a variety of pristine and human disturbed habitats. The values he calculated were 270/km2 in pristine habitat, 190/km2 for slightly disturbed habitat, 130/km2 for moderately disturbed habitat, and 45/km2 in heavily disturbed habitat (Merker 2003).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has been studied in the field (Tremble et al. 1993; Merker 2006; Merker et al. 2005; Merker 2003; Merker and Mühlenberg 2000; Gursky 1998). It occurs in primary, secondary and mangrove forests, forest gardens, and a variety of other habitats of varying degrees of human disturbance that provide adequate shrubby cover. Like all tarsiers it shows extreme adaptations for vertical clinging and leaping (VCL) in the understory of suitable tropical habitats, often 0 m or less from the ground. Nocturnal social primates, they likely live in small, monogamous or polygamous groupings of 2-7 individuals (Merker 2003). Home range sizes have been recorded as 1.0–1.8 ha depending on habitat type. The diet is 100% live animal prey, mostly insects with some small vertebrates.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The primary threat to this species is loss of habitat loss due to illegal logging. Other threats include agricultural pesticides and predation by domestic animals (dogs and cats). In addition, some animals are entering the pet trade. There has been extensive loss of lowland forest habitat; however, the species has some tolerance to forest conversion. A crucial unknown variable in determining how critical the threats to this species are is its elevational distribution. GIS data indicate that large areas of quality forested habitat remain at higher elevations, but the vertical range of this species is believed to stop somewhere between 1,100-1,500 m, thus rendering a large portion of the best remaining habitat outside the range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Tarsiers are protected by national law and international treaties, including CITES Appendix II. Many portions of the range of this taxon are protected and indeed it occurs in at least two national parks (Lore Lindu and Morowali); however, there needs to be improved management of the currently protected areas to ensure the ongoing survival of the species. Public education to overcome the misconception that tarsiers are crop pests would be a step forward in improving conservation measures for the species. In fact the species might actually be beneficial to crops, as they eat, and may even have a dietary preference for, some of the real crop pests such as large grasshoppers.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.1. Formal education
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Felis catus ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Canis familiaris ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Groves C. 2001. Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Gursky, S. 1998. The conservation status of two Sulawesian tarsier species: Tarsius spectrum and Tarsius dianae. Primate Conservation 18: 88–91.

IUCN. 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Mackinnon, J. and Mackinnon, K. 1980. The behaviour of wild spectral tarsiers. International Journal of Primatology 1(4): 361 – 379.

Merker, S. 2003. Vom Aussterben bedroht oder anpassungsfähig? Der Koboldmaki Tarsius dianae in den Regenw¨aldern Sulawesis. PhD Dissertation, University of Gottingen.

Merker, S. 2006. Habitat-specific ranging patterns of Dian’s tarsiers (Tarsius dianae) as revealed by radiotracking. American Journal of Primatology 68(2): 111 – 125.

Merker, S. and Groves, C. 2006. Tarsius lariang: a new primate species from western central Sulawesi. International Journal of Primatology 27(2): 465–485.

Merker, S. and Mühlenberg, M. 2000. Traditional land use and tarsiers – human influences on population densities of Tarsius dianae. Folia Primatologica 71(6): 426–428.

Merker, S., Yustian, I. and Muhlenberg, M. 2005. Responding to forest degradation altered habitat use by Dian’s tarsier Tarsius dianae in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Oryx 39(2): 189–195.

Niemitz, C., Nietsch, A., Warter, S. and Rumpler, Y. 1991. Tarsius dianae: a new primate species from central Sulawesi (Indonesia). Folia Primatologica 56(2): 105–116.

Shekelle, M., Leksono, S. M., Ichwan, L. L. S. and Masala, Y. 1997. The natural history of the tarsiers of North and central Sulawesi. Sulawesi Primate Newsletter 4(2): 4-11.

Tremble, M., Muskita, Y. and Supriatna, J. 1993. Field observations of Tarsius dianae at Lore Lindu National Park, central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tropical Biodiversity 1(2): 67-76.

Citation: Shekelle, M., Salim, A. & Merker, S. 2008. Tarsius dentatus. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T21489A9286921. . Downloaded on 22 May 2018.
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