Varecia rubra

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES LEMURIDAE

Scientific Name: Varecia rubra
Species Authority: (E. Geoffroy, 1812)
Common Name(s):
English Red Ruffed Lemur, Red-ruffed Lemur
French Vari Roux
Synonym(s):
Varecia variegata subspecies rubra (É. Geoffroy, 1812)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A4cd 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:

A population reduction of ≥80% is suspected to be met over thee generations (24 years, assuming a generation length of 8 years). This is based on a continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat due to a very rapid upsurge of illegal logging after political events of early 2009, in addition to exploitation through unsustainable hunting pressure, and frequent cyclones. Based on these premises, the species is listed as Critically Endangered.

History:
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has a restricted range, primarily inhabiting the remaining primary forests of the Masoala Peninsula and the region immediately north of the Bay of Antongil in northeastern Madagascar. The Antainambalana River appears to separate this species from V. variegata, but the western and northern limits of the Red Ruffed Lemur’s range remain unclear (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein). Historically, the two species overlapped in the region north of the Bay of Antongil. Recent survey work in the region has shown that the westernmost distribution of V. rubra was near the confluence of the Antainambalana and Sahantaha Rivers (Hekkala et al. 2007). It ranges from sea level to 1,200 m.
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Density estimates were recorded at 31-53 individuals/km² in Andranobe (Vasey 1997b) and 21-23 individuals/km² in Ambatonakolahy (Rigamonti 1993). Population numbers are in sharp decline due to a very rapid upsurge of illegal logging after political events of early 2009, in addition to hunting pressure, frequent cyclones and fires.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species has been the subject of ecological and behavioural studies in the forests of Ambatonakolahy (Rigamonti 1993) and Andranobe on the Masoala Peninsula (Vasey 1997a). An inhabitant of primary and some secondary tropical moist lowland forest (to 1200 m). It is diurnal, prefers high forest and is often observed in the crowns of large feeding trees. It is largely frugivorous. The mating season is May-July, with births occurring from September through early November after a gestation period of about 102 days. Litters range from one to five infants in captivity, but usually contain two or three, and only one young every two years normally survive (Brockman et al. 1987, Schwitzer 2003). Interbirth intervals are in the order of two years (Rakotondratsima and Kremen 2001). Females reach sexual maturity at just under two years, while males take three to four years to attain maturity. Social organization is described as fission / fusion; communities are usually multi-male / multi-female, and number 5–31 individuals. Home ranges cover 23–58 ha and appear to be defended.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted for food.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The principal threats are habitat loss and hunting. Due to their large size and evident need for tall primary forest, these animals are particularly susceptible to human encroachment and, sadly, hunting and trapping for food still takes place. Furthermore, because remaining populations are concentrated on the Masoala Peninsula, they may be threatened by the frequent cyclones (hurricanes) that hit this part of Madagascar. The range of this species has also recently been heavily impacted on by the very rapid upsurge of illegal logging after the political events of early 2009, in addition to fires.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is protected officially only within the Masoala National Park and the Makira Protected Area. However, Masoala was the national park most heavily impacted on by the very rapid upsurge of illegal logging after the political events of early 2009. Increased regulation and management of illegal logging and hunting within the range is recommended. As of 2009, there were 590 red ruffed lemurs reported in captivity worldwide (ISIS 2009). Such populations in American and European zoos represent a safeguard against extinction, but they are unfortunately very limited in their genetic diversity (Schwitzer 2003).


Bibliography [top]

Brockman, D. K., Willis, M. S. and Karesh, W. B. 1987. Management and husbandry of ruffed lemurs, Varecia variegata, at the San Diego Zoo. II. Reproduction, pregnancy, parturition, litter size, infant care, and reintroduction of hand-raised infants. Zoo Biology 6: 349–363.

Hekkala, E. R., Rakotondratsima, M. and Vasey, N. 2007. Habitat and distribution of the ruffed lemur, Varecia, north of the Bay of Antongil in north-eastern Madagascar. Primate Conservation 22: 89-95.

ISIS. 2009. International Species Information System. Apple Valley, MN Available at: www.isis.org. (Accessed: 01.01.2009).

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.

Rakotondratsima, M. and Kremen, C. 2001. Suivi écologique de deux espèces de lémuriens diurnes Varecia variegata rubra et Eulemur fulvus albifrons dans la presqu’île de Masoala (1993 – 1998). Lemur News 6: 31–35.

Rigamonti, M. M. 1993. Home range and diet in red ruffed lemurs (Varecia varigata rubra) on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. In: P. M. Kappeler and J. U. Ganzhorn (eds), Lemur Social Systems and their Ecological Basis, pp. 25–39. Plenum Press, New York, USA.

Schwitzer, C. 2003. Energy intake and obesity in captive lemurs (primates, Lemuridae). Thesis, Universität zu Köln. Münster: Schüling Verlag.

Schwitzer, C., and Kaumanns, W. 2001. Body weights of ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) in European zoos with reference to the problem of obesity. Zoo Biology 17: 95-109.

Vasey, N. 1997a. Community ecology and behavior of Varecia variegata rubra and Lemur fulvus albifrons on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Ph.D. Thesis, Washington University.

Vasey, N. 1997b. How many red ruffed lemurs are left? International Journal of Primatology 18: 207-216.


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