Saving the greater bamboo lemur Prolemur simus


 


Summary:


The greater bamboo lemur Prolemur simus is the only recognised species within its genus. The global primatological community consider it to be one of the most endangered primates in the world, and probably the most endangered lemur. It is endemic to Madagascar, and whilst subfossil records show it was once widely distributed across the island, it is now believed to be restricted to a small part of the remaining eastern rainforest belt, and a handful of outlying degraded forest fragments. A recent paper by Wright et al. (2008; Primate Conservation 23: 5-17) showed that in 2007 only 60 individuals were known in the wild. To compound the critical situation, only 22 were known in captivity.

The publication of the Wright et al. paper coincided with a prospection visit to Madagascar in June 2008 by representatives of the UK-registered charity The Aspinall Foundation. In June 2009, an agreement was signed with the Malagasy government creating The Aspinall Foundation's Madagascar Programme, with the mission to work with local partners for the conservation of endangered species and their habitats. The initial focus of the programme has been to play a key role in ensuring that effective actions were implemented urgently to assure the long-term persistence of the greater bamboo lemur.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of The Aspinall Foundation's "Saving Prolemur simus"project is to ensure the long-term persistence of the critically endangered greater bamboo lemur. To achieve this aim, the project has the following objectives: 

  1. To play a key role in coordinating an urgent, collaborative response to the current crisis facing the greater bamboo lemur in the wild and in captivity;
  2. To organise as a matter of urgency a rapid but extensive survey of greater bamboo lemur distribution and abundance in the wild;
  3. To ensure that all known sites within the remaining rainforest corridors that support greater bamboo lemurs are effectively managed for their conservation;
  4. To develop management mechanisms for all small, isolated populations in habitat fragments outside the main rainforest corridors, for their persistence and their potential role as sources for future captive-breeding, translocation, reinforcement or reintroduction strategies;
  5. To ensure the survival of any greater bamboo lemur groups or individuals restricted to sites or habitats that can not be protected.
Major Results
 
  1. Our collaborative distribution surveys resulted in the doubling of the number of known sites in the wild in only two years;
  2. Immediate implementation of simple, community-based conservation actions at most of the newly-discovered sites has resulted in the virtual elimination of hunting pressures at these sites;
  3. During 2012, the first community-managed site created specifically for the conservation of greater bamboo lemurs was inaugurated, and two other community-managed sites were also legalised;
  4. At the end of 2012, only four years after we started the project, we now work with numerous local communities to protect over 350 greater bamboo lemurs in the wild;
  5. Our national field researchers have collected over 200 faecal samples for genetic analysis, to determine levels of sub-population isolation or inbreeding, which will help direct long-term population management strategies.
 
Please see our annual reports and publications for more details:
 

Annual summary reports:

TAF 2012. Saving Prolemur simus: Summary report 2012The Aspinall Foundation, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 6 pp.

TAF 2011. Saving Prolemur simus: Summary report 2011The Aspinall Foundation, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 3 pp.

TAF 2010. Saving Prolemur simus - Summary report 2010The Aspinall Foundation, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 3 pp. 

TAF 2009. Saving Prolemur simus - Initial results and immediate actionsThe Aspinall Foundation, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 6 pp.

TAF 2008. Saving Prolemur simus - Objectives and proposed actions. The Aspinall Foundation, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent, GB. 4 pp.

 

Publications:

King, T. & Chamberlan, C. 2010. Conserving the Critically Endangered greater bamboo lemurOryx 44 (2): 167.

Rakotonirina, L., Rajaonson, A., Ratolojanahary, T., Rafalimandimby, J., Fanomezantsoa, P., Ramahefasoa, B., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Ravaloharimanitra, M., Ratsimbazafy, J., Dolch, R. & King, T. 2011. New distributional records and conservation implications for the critically endangered greater bamboo lemur Prolemur simus. Folia Primatologica 82(2): 118-129. DOI: 10.1159/000330910

Ravaloharimanitra, M., Ratolojanahary, T., Rafalimandimby, J., Rajaonson, A., Rakotonirina, L., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Ndriamiary, J.N., Andriambololona, J., Nasoavina, C., Fanomezantsoa, P., Rakotoarisoa, J.C., Youssouf, Ratsimbazafy, J., Dolch, R. & King, T. 2011. Gathering local knowledge in Madagascar results in a major increase in the known range and number of sites for critically endangered greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus)International Journal of Primatology 32 (3): 776-792. DOI: 10.1007/s10764-011-9500-4.

Rakotonirina, L.H.F., Rajaonson, A., Ratolojanahary, J.H., Missirli, J.M., Razafy Fara, L., Raholijaona, Andrialanajaranirina, M. & King, T. 2013. Southern range extensions for the critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemur Varecia variegata and greater bamboo lemur Prolemur simusPrimate Conservation 26: 49-55.

Ravaloharimanitra, M. & King, T. 2012. First community-managed reserve for greater bamboo lemurs inaugurated. Lemur News 16: 26.

Chamberlan, C. 2012. Sauver Prolemur simus - 3000 cahiers scolaires "Godroka" distribués autour du CAZ. Lemur News 16:26.

Olson, E.R., Marsh, R.A., Bovard, B.N., Randrianarimanana, H.L.L., Ravaloharimanitra, M., Ratsimbazafy, J.H. & King, T. 2012. Arboreal camera trapping for the Critically Endangered greater bamboo lemur Prolemur simus.Oryx 46: 593-597.

Bonaventure, A., Lantovololona, F., Mihaminekena, T. H., Andrianandrasana, Z. A., Ravaloharimanitra, M., Ranaivosoa, P., Ratsimbazafy, J. & King, T. 2012. Conservation de Prolemur simus dans le site de basse altitude de Vohiposa, District de BrickavilleLemur News 16: 15-20

Lantovololona, F., Bonaventure, A., Ratolojanahary, T., Rafalimandimby, J., Ravaloharimanitra, M., Ranaivosoa, P., Ratsimbazafy, J., Dolch, R. & King, T. 2012. Conservation de Prolemur simus autour de la forêt de basse altitude d’Andriantantely, District de BrickavilleLemur News 16: 7-11.

Mihaminekena, T. H., Ravaloharimanitra, M., Ranaivosoa, P., Ratsimbazafy, J. & King, T. 2012. Abondance et conservation de Prolemur simus dans les sites de basse altitude de Sahavola et Ambalafary, District de BrickavilleLemur News 16: 11-15.

Randrianarimanana, L., Ravaloharimanitra, M., Ratolojanahary, T., Rafalimandimby, J., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Ratsimbazafy, J., Dolch, R. & King, T. 2012. Statut et conservation de Prolemur simus dans les sites de Ranomainty et Sakalava du Corridor Ankeniheny-ZahamenaLemur News 16: 2-7.

Rajaonson, A., Ratolojanahary, M., Ratsimbazafy, J., Feistner, A. & King, T. 2010. Enquête préliminaire de la distribution des lémuriens de bambou dans et autour du Corridor forestier Fandriana-Vondrozo, MadagascarLemur News 15: 34-39.

   

 
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