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Varecia variegata ssp. variegata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES LEMURIDAE

Scientific Name: Varecia variegata ssp. variegata
Species Authority: (Kerr, 1792)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Black And White Ruffed Lemur, Black-and-white 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 18-21 years (three generations), primarily due to observed and inferred continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat from 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.
History:
2000 Endangered
1996 Endangered
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is an inhabitant of of remnant tracts of tropical moist lowland and montane forests (sea level to 1,300 m) in eastern Madagascar. The Anove River (between Soanierana Ivongo and Mananara) is the northern part of the range, while the southern part consists of the region south of Mananjary as far as the Manampatrana or Mananara Rivers. This range is now highly fragmented (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, hunting, and stochastic events such as cyclones.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is an inhabitant of remnant tracts of tropical moist lowland and montane forest (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. In captivity litters range in size from 1–5 (usually two or three). It is doubtful that wild ruffed lemur females are as productive, given that litter size appears to be related to the mother's non-pregnant body weight and that captive individuals tend to be heavier. The 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. One individual of this species lived for 27 years in the San Diego Zoo, USA. V. v. variegata has been studied in Betampona. Long-term field research shows significant variation in home range size, group size and territorial behaviour (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. Stochastic events such as cyclones can severely impact small populations. 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 is very patchily distributed, the result of its dependency on low- to mid-altitude primary forest and its susceptibility to hunting and trapping. Varcecia variegata variegata is found in one national park (Zahamena), two strict nature reserves (Betampona and Zahamena), and two special reserves (Ambatovaky and Marotandrano). Individuals with the variegata coat pattern are also found in protected areas further south, well inside the range of V. v. editorum, with which the subspecies may overlap. In November, 1997, individuals of this subspecies that had been born and raised in U.S. zoological institutions were returned to Madagascar and released in the Betampona Strict Nature Reserve. A study of this reintroduction effort is ongoing. This subspecies is one of the most common lemurs in captivity. These animals do very well in zoos and breed readily there. As of 2009, there were approximately 770 individuals reported in zoological collections 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. Varecia variegata ssp. variegata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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