Abstract # 6280 Event # 114:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 09:45 AM-10:00 AM: (Cascade E) Oral Presentation


MALE AND FEMALE DISPERSAL IN WILD RINGTAILED LEMURS (LEMUR CATTA): GENETIC EVIDENCE

J. A. Parga3, M. L. Sauther4, F. P. Cuozzo1, I. A. Y. Jacky5, L. Gould6, R. W. Sussman7, R. R. Lawler2 and J. Pastorini8,9
1California State University-Los Angeles, Department of Anthropology, 5151 State University Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90032, USA, 2James Madison University, 3California State University-Los Angeles, 4University of Colorado-Boulder, 5Université de Toliara, Madagascar, 6University of Victoria, Canada, 7Washington University, 8Universität Zürich, Switzerland, 9Centre for Conservation and Research, Sri Lanka
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     With the advent of molecular methods, it is now possible to augment observational studies of dispersal with genetic data. We evaluated dispersal patterns in two Lemur catta populations in southwestern Madagascar, Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP) and Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), using behavioral and molecular data. Behavioral studies have concluded that this species shows male-biased dispersal and female philopatry. However, female dispersal has been observed in at least two L. catta study sites, including BMSR, posing the question of whether genetic data would show evidence of female dispersal. We genotyped over 200 individuals to test for a sex-bias to dispersal using corrected assignment indices. We also determined the level of genetic differentiation between our study populations, which are approximately 135 km apart. Our results showed only minor genetic differentiation between the populations (theta-ST=0.039; p<0.001), which may indicate that gene flow has historically occurred in this region, made possible by the presence of L. catta groups between the two study sites. From molecular data, we found evidence of male-biased dispersal in TNP (p=0.002) but not in BMSR. Observations of female dispersal into BMSR from outside the reserve (and within the reserve) support these molecular results, and may imply intense female resource competition in and around BMSR. In sum, our behavioral and molecular data provide support for male and female dispersal in this species.