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Title: Locomotor behaviour and ecology of three sympatric lemur species in Mantadia National Park, Madagascar
Author: Blanchard, Mary Louise.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3467 5899
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2007
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This study compares the locomotor behaviour of three sympatric species of folivorous (leaf-eating) lemur; Indri indri (indri), Propithecus diadema (diademed simpona) and HapaJemur griseus griseus (eastern lesser bamboo lemur). 1. indri and P. diadema are large bodied 'vertical clingers and leapers'. H. g. grise us is small bodied, combining 'vertical clinging and leaping' with quadrupedal walking. The three species were studied in Mantadia National Park, Madagascar. One social group each of 1. indri (n=4) and P. diadema (n=7) and two groups of H. g. griseus (n=6 and n=4) were followed during an eleven month period. Data was collected ad-hoc for locomotor mode and support use preferences, and by the method of 'focal animal sampling' for activity, diet, ranging and vertical spatial usage. In terms of activity, 1. indri and P. diadema were found to be diurnal, while H. g. griseus was crepuscular (activity at dawn and dusk). The active period for 1. indri and P. diadema mirrored sunrise and sunset, a pattern not observed in H. g. griseus. Length of feeding period did not seasonally alter in 1. indri, while rest and travel periods decreased in the austral (southern hemisphere) winter. Rest and travel periods of P. diadema decreased in winter while feeding time increased. Feeding time did not alter seasonally in H. g. griseus, while rest and travel increased slightly during the austral winter. There was considerable dietary overlap between 1. indri and P. diadema, up to 53%, but P. diadema maintained a more diverse diet. 1. indri had longer, but fewer, daily feeding bouts compared to P. diadema. All three study species displayed marked seasonality in diet. P. diadema had the largest home range (27ha), followed by 1. indri (13ha), while H. g .griseus had the smallest home ranges (3.5ha and 5.4ha). P. diadema had significantly longer daily path lengths (902m) compared to 1. indri (482m). The daily path length in 1. indri and P. diadema positively correlated with hours of daylight; decreasing daylight in the austral winter led to shorter path lengths. H. g. griseus were found at a mean height of 7.8m, lower than that of both 1. indri (12.6m) and P. diadema (lO.6m). The difference all three species is significant. 1. indri were observed to display a greater preference for non-vertical supports and P. diadema a greater preference for vertical supports. Contrary to expectation, although both species used supports with diameters sized 5.1 to IOcm most frequently, in comparison I. indri showed a preference for supports sized over 10.1cm and P. diadema for those smaller than IOcm. As expected, 1. indri and P. diadema utilised leaping more frequently during travel and all other modes less frequently, while during feeding leaping was used less frequently and all other modes more frequently. In summary a relationship was found to exist between support use, locomotion and stratum, and between stratum, dietary preference and predation risk for all three species. Contrary to prediction, seasonality was found to exert, at most, only a weak effect on the ecology of H. g. griseus. However, marked seasonality (yearly patterns of behaviour) was found in activity, diet and ranging for I. indri and P. diadema.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available