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Prolemur simus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES LEMURIDAE

Scientific Name: Prolemur simus
Species Authority: (Gray, 1871)
Common Name/s:
English Greater Bamboo Lemur, Broad-nosed Gentle Lemur
French Grand Hapalémur, Hapalémur Simien
Spanish Lemur Cariancho
Synonym/s:
Hapalemur simus Gray, 1871
Taxonomic Notes: Formerly included in Hapalemur, but included in Prolemur by Groves (2001).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C1+2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Andrainarivo, C., Andriaholinirina, V.N., Feistner, A., Felix, T., Ganzhorn, J., Garbutt, N., Golden, C., Konstant, B., Louis Jr., E., Meyers, D., Mittermeier, R.A., Perieras, A., Princee, F., Rabarivola, J.C., Rakotosamimanana, B., Rasamimanana, H., Ratsimbazafy, J., Raveloarinoro, G., Razafimanantsoa, A., Rumpler, Y., Schwitzer, C., Thalmann, U., Wilmé, L. & Wright, P.
Reviewer/s: Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Critically Endangered as the species is estimated to number less than 250 mature individuals with a continuing decline of at least 25% over the next 9 years (one generation). The number of mature individuals in any subpopulation is thought not to exceed 50 mature animals.
History:
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Subfossil remains confirm that this species once had a widespread distribution in Madagascar that covered the northern, north-western, central and eastern portions of Madagascar, including Ampasambazimba in the Itasy Basin (west of Antananarivo), the Grotte d?Andrafiabe on the Ankarana Massif, and the Grottes d?Anjohibe near Mahajanga and Tsingy de Bemaraha (Mittermeier et al. 2008).

Today, the species has a much diminished range in the south-eastern and south-central rainforests of Madagascar. Wright et al. (2008), who estimated that P. simus now occupies only about 1-4% of its historical range, reported confirmed sightings of Greater Bamboo Lemurs in only 11 of 70 survey localities with a latitudinal range of 18°52' to 22°26'S. Five of these sightings were in or around the protected areas of Ranomafana National Park (Miaranony, Talatakely and Ambatolahy Dimy), and Andringitra National Park (Manambolo, Camp 2). An additional unconfirmed observation occurred here (Korokoto). Another five sightings were in unprotected forests at Kianjavato and Karianga, and outside Evendra, Morafeno and Mahasoa. Finally, they were observed in Torotorofotsy, the only locality north of Ranomafana National Park situated about 10 km north-west of Andasibe. The elevation range for confirmed sightings is 121?1,600 m (Wright et al. 2008).
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: On current evidence, this species may have the smallest population size of any lemur on the island. Only about 12 groups, totaling less than 100 individuals, have been documented in over 20 years of regional surveys. During 400 days of census work in Ranomafana, only three groups in total have been detected (with a maximum of 20 individuals confirmed) (Wright et al. 2008).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is associated with forests abundant in giant bamboo. It subsists predominantly on bamboo, but its diet includes seven plant species representing three different families. In Ranomafana National Park, the bamboo Cathariostachys madagascariensis can account for as much as 95% of the diet, with shoots, young and mature leaves, and pith being consumed (Tan 1999, 2000). The patchiness of this bamboo species may be one factor limiting the current distribution and population continuity of P. simus, as this key food species is not found in all forest microhabitats, and is apparently limited to forest near large rivers. The availability of drinking water could also be a limiting factor, as during dry months in Ranomafana National Park, P. simus was the only lemur species seen regularly coming to streams to drink water (Wright et al. 2008).

Observations of wild populations and animals in captivity suggest that this species is cathemeral, active both during the day and at night throughout the year. They live in polygamous groups that can occupy home ranges of 40-60 ha or more. Mating begins in May or June, with infants typically born in October and November. Females usually give birth to a single young each year (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The greater bamboo lemur is threatened by slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging, the cutting of bamboo and hunting with slingshots and snares, the latter exacerbated by their movements into the rice paddies.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. Remnant populations now receive protection in Ranomafana National Park and Andringitra National Park. Torotorofotsy is a RAMSAR wetland site. Surveys in unstudied classified forests and forest reserves in eastern Madagascar may eventually turn up new populations, but in the meantime continued monitoring of existing populations is required.

Wright et al. (2008) propose several immediate research and conservation recommendations. Further study of dietary breadth in populations other than Ranomafana is crucial to developing an understanding of this species? ecological flexibility, and eventually understanding its patchy distribution.

Only 39 P. simus individuals have been kept in captivity. As of 2007, there were 22 in seven institutions (five in Europe and two in Madagascar) (Wright et al. 2008).
Citation: Andrainarivo, C., Andriaholinirina, V.N., Feistner, A., Felix, T., Ganzhorn, J., Garbutt, N., Golden, C., Konstant, B., Louis Jr., E., Meyers, D., Mittermeier, R.A., Perieras, A., Princee, F., Rabarivola, J.C., Rakotosamimanana, B., Rasamimanana, H., Ratsimbazafy, J., Raveloarinoro, G., Razafimanantsoa, A., Rumpler, Y., Schwitzer, C., Thalmann, U., Wilmé, L. & Wright, P. 2008. Prolemur simus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 April 2014.
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