Hapalemur alaotrensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES LEMURIDAE

Scientific Name: Hapalemur alaotrensis
Species Authority: Rumpler, 1975
Common Name(s):
English Alaotra Reed Lemur, Lac Alaotra Bamboo Lemur, Alaotran Gentle Lemur, Lake Alaotra Gentle Lemur
Synonym(s):
Hapalemur griseus (Rumpler, 1975) subspecies alaotrensis
Taxonomic Notes: Cytogenetic and molecular data do not distinguish H. alatorensis from H. griseus griseus (Fausser et al. 2002, Pastorini et al. 2002), although the former is differentiated based on its larger size (Rabarivola et al. 2007).

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.
Justification:
Listed as Critically Endangered as the species has been observed to have undergone a population decline of ≥80% over a period of 24 years (three generations), due primarily to continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat, 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 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from the papyrus and reed beds surrounding Lac Alaotra, Madagascar's largest lake located in the eastern rain forest region (Mutschler and Feistner 1995). The species occurs as two subpopulations: a small one in the northern part of the lake around the Belempona Peninsula; and a larger one in the adjoining marshlands along the lake's southwestern shores bounded by the villages of Anororo, Andreba and Andilana-Sud (Mutschler et al. 2001). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 216-519 km2, and it occurs only up to elevations of 750 m.
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The most recent population estimate for H. alaotrensis is 2,500 remaining individuals (J. Ratsimbazafy pers. comm. 2013). Population numbers are in decline due to habitat destruction and hunting.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In its unique marshland habitat (this is the only primate to live in marsh habitat) this lemur feeds principally on four food items: the pithy stems of papyrus (Cyperus madagascariensis), tender shoots of reeds (Phragmites communis), and two types of grasses (Echinocochla crusgalli and Leersia hexandra) (Mutschler 1999). Active mainly during daylight hours, H. alaotrensis also exhibits significant nocturnal activity. They live in family groups of up to a dozen members and defend territories ranging in size from less than one hectare to eight hectares. Young are born from September through February and twins are common (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted for food and captured for the pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Conversion of marsh habitat to rice fields has been the most severe threat to the survival of this species, although the remaining marsh habitats are difficult to convert due to regular flooding. However, a major drainage project would pose a major threat if this were realized in the region. Burning of the remaining marshlands takes place to catch fish and to graze cattle. The resulting increase in aquatic plants is choking fishing areas and driving further burning and may also limit marsh regeneration after flooding.

Hunting for food and capture for pets also have reduced its numbers through the years. Local people employ a variety of hunting and trapping methods. Direct pursuit by dogs is the most common, but they may also be captured by using a harpoon, a snare, a stick to knock them out or into the water, or by burning their reed bed habitat, causing them to flee into the hands of waiting hunters. More than 1,000 lemurs have been hunted annually in some years (Mutschler et al. 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. Lac Alaotra was declared a Ramsar site in 2003, and covers the entire watershed, 722,5000 ha, with the aim of conserving biodiversity and the wetland ecosystem. Thanks to the efforts of Durrell, a new 42,478 ha protected area was created there in 2007. This includes both a strict conservation area of 8,000 ha, and an adjacent 5,200-ha core zone of marsh where controlled activities (e.g., fishing) are permitted. Public awareness campaigns have focused on the benefits of habitat conservation to the half million or more people who live by the lake erosion control, the biological filtering of agricultural pollutants, flood prevention. A regional fishing convention bans lemur hunting and marsh burning. There is a small, but self-sustaining, captive population in a number of European zoos.

Bibliography [top]

Fausser, J.-L., Prosper, P., Donati, G., Ramanamanjato, J.-B. and Rumpler, Y. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships between Hapalemur species and subspecies based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2: 4.

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.

Mutschler, T. 1999. Folivory in a small-bodied lemur: The nutrition of the Alaotran gentle lemur (Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis). In: B. Rakotosamimanana, H. Rasamimanana, J. U. Ganzhorn and S. M. Goodman (eds), New Directions in Lemur Studies, pp. 221?239. Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York, USA.

Mutschler, T. and Feistner, A. T. C. 1995. Conservation status and distribution of the Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis. Oryx 29: 267-274.

Mutschler, T., Feistner, A. T. C. and Nievergelt, C. M. 1998. Preliminary field data on group size, diet and activity in the Alaotran gentle lemur, Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis. Folia Primatologica 69: 325-330.

Mutschler, T., Randrianarisoa, A. J. and Feistner, A. T. C. 2001. Population status of the Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis. Oryx 35(2): 152 ? 157.

Pastorini, J., Forstner, M. R. J. and Martin, R. D. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships of gentle lemurs (Hapalemur). Evolutionary Anthropology 1: 150?154.

Rabarivola, C., Prosper, P., Zaramody, A., Andriaholinirina, N. and Hauwy, M. 2007. Cytogenetics and taxonomy of the genus Hapalemur. Lemur News 12: 46-49.

Ralainasolo, F. B. 2004. Influence des effets anthropiques sur la dynamique de population de Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis ou "Bandro" dans son habitat naturel. Lemur News 9: 32?35.


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. Hapalemur alaotrensis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 July 2014.
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