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Primates. 2008 Jan;49(1):85-8. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

Pilot survey of avahi population (woolly lemurs) in littoral forest fragments of southeast Madagascar.

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  • 1Museo di Storia Naturale e del Territorio, Centro Interdipartimentale, Universit√† di Pisa, Via Roma 79, 56011 Calci, Pisa, Italy.


This study presents a pilot survey of the avahis (pair-living, nocturnal prosimians) living in threatened littoral forest fragments of southeastern Madagascar. In the period of October-December 2004, I evaluated the density of adult and newborn avahis (carried by the mothers) by counting the individuals encountered during 58 night walks in seven fragments of Sainte Luce and Mandena forests, along one trail/fragment. Along each trail, I used random plots (5 m2) for a preliminary characterization of the vegetation. The density of the population was not correlated with fragment size and number of plant morphospecies, while it was correlated with large tree availability. Possibly due to a low energy diet based on leaves and to specialized and energetically expensive vertical leaping, the loss of large trees by selective logging seems to affect avahi populations more than other variables.

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