Abstract # 13388 Event # 182:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:15 AM-10:30 AM: (Room 309) Oral Presentation


ANTHROPOGENIC DISTURBANCES AND DEFORESTATION OF NORTHERN SPORTIVE LEMUR (LEPILEMUR SEPTENTRIONALIS) HABITAT AT MONTAGNE DES FRANÇAIS, MADAGASCAR

M. P. Dinsmore1, K. B. Strier2 and E. E. Louis Jr.3,4
1University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Environment and Resources, Madison, WI 53706, USA, 2Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin - Madison , 3Center for Conservation and Research, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 4Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, NGO
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Madagascar is experiencing some of the most persistent and alarming rates of anthropogenic forest loss, threatening its endemic flora and fauna. Several factors contribute to this forest degradation and loss; however in Madagascar, it’s most often attributed to heavy human reliance on forest products for income and survival. Montagne des Français (MDF) is a forest in northern Madagascar and the last remaining home of the Critically Endangered northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis). We assessed the type and extent of anthropogenic disturbances observed at MDF, as well as forest loss and fragmentation of this region over four decades. To assess current conditions, MPD systematically recorded occurrences of anthropogenic disturbances in ten lemur home ranges and three trails over two field seasons. To assess historical landcover change, we analyzed classified 30 m resolution forest cover maps from 1973, 1990, and 2014. We recorded 1,412 human-caused disturbances within ~15 ha. Felled trees were the most frequently observed disturbance, and Bonaramatsigny (Leucaena leucocephala), the most frequently felled species. Forest cover at MDF drastically decreased from 64% in 1973, to 31.5% in 1990 to 26.6% in 2014. Our results show that human disturbances are widespread and pervasive, contributing to forest cover loss at MDF, which will in turn impact the quality, connectivity, and availability of habitat for endemic lemurs. Funding: Primate Action Fund, UW-Madison Graduate School & African Studies Department