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Long-term monitoring of nocturnal lemur populations in the littoral forests of Sainte Luce

Hyde Roberts, S. Retsiraiky, J. Tsimilajay, H. Chmurova, L. Neaves, J. Strang, K. Nijman, V. Donati, G.

Approximately one-fifth (113) of the worlds 504 recognised primate species are endemic to the island of Madagascar (Estrada et al, 2017). Of these, 98% of species are considered threatened with extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN, 2019). Furthermore 100 species are reported as undergoing population declines. In order to properly understand population dynamics, and how animals are responding to fragmentation and anthropogenic pressures over time, it is crucial to obtain estimates of population size and population density for threatened species (Buckland et al, 2001). From a conservation perspective, such parameters can provide valuable monitoring tools and early diagnosis of declines in vulnerable populations.

Sainte Luce represents one of the last examples of intact southern littoral forest in Madagascar (Consiglio et al, 2006). It currently comprises of 17 forest fragments (Fig.1.), each of which are degraded and harvested for natural resources to various extents (Fig.2.). The littoral forests represent a useful model for monitoring population dynamics, as they are well studied taxonomically and their highly fragmented nature allows for the effect of forest size and human impacts to be explored. This ongoing study is conducted in the forest fragments S7, S8 and S9, three of the most intact remaining fragments. Furthermore in 2015, fragments S8 and S9 were designated IUCN Category IV protected forests, whilst S7 was selected as a community resource forest.

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European Federation of Primatology & Primate Society of Great Britain, Primate Conference Antananarivo
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