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25 Most Endangered Primates : Lemurs (poll).

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 7 Nov 2020.

?

Which lemur species will you vote for ?

Poll closed 21 Nov 2020.
  1. Lake Alaotra gentle lemur

    11.1%
  2. James' sportive lemur

    11.1%
  3. Indri

    50.0%
  4. Aye aye

    16.7%
  5. Bemanasy mouse lemur

    11.1%
  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    The primates in peril report "25 Most Critically Endangered Primates on the Planet" is a report by the IUCN that is compiled every two years which as the name suggests documents the primate species that are most threatened by extinction.

    I want to create a series of polls where zoochatters can vote for a primate species whose conservation they would like to see prioritized, that they consider to be their favourite, whose plight moves them most, or that interests them.

    A discussion on these species and the conservation of endangered primate species in general is something I would like to encourage in the comment section too.

    Each poll will be based on a biogegraphic category of the report (Madagascar, Neotropics, Africa, Asia etc) and / or primate group (Prosimians, Old world monkeys, New world monkeys, Lesser apes, Great apes etc).

    The first of these polls will be on the lemur species that are featured within the 2018- 2020 report.

    So here goes...

    Which lemur species will you vote for and why ?
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2020
  2. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 7 Nov 2020
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  3. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I was surprised that the ring-tailed lemur was in the 2016-18 list. It is such a common zoo animal and should be part of a reintroduction programme. If it can't be reintroduced to Madagascar, there are other endangered primates that could replace the species in zoos.
     
  4. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Many species that still need a conservation program in the list but it is also nice to see that among all of the critically endangered species, a good selection lives in protected area and has conservation programs backing them up.
     
  5. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your comment and vote @Dassie rat !

    Yes, I know what you mean.

    It is a bit jarring to see it included in that list and I had the same jaw drop moment when seeing the ring tailed listed. In fact it changed my perspective on ring tailed lemurs kept ex-situ within zoos entirely (though I agree it should often be replaced by other lemur species in greater need like the Sclater's lemur for example).

    But I suppose it is like a lot of zoo animals and even some pet animals that we see all over the place but that are actually endangered, critically endangered or perhaps even extinct in the wild.

    For example, the axolotl, butterfly spit flin, box turtle etc.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2020
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, true, many of the species listed do indeed need good in-situ and in some cases ex-situ conservation programs but that is ultimately the purpose of the list to both raise awareness of this and drive / galvanise actions and planning to conserve them.

    So @Rayane, I'm curious, why did you vote for the mouse lemur ?
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2020
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    @Dassie rat by the way, I forgot to ask you in my last comment, why the aye aye ?
     
  8. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    The aye-aye's been my favourite animal for several decades. I went to Madagascar to see one for the first time. I was unsuccessful then, but saw one in Paris Vincennes a year later when I also saw other lemurs that I hadn't seen in Madagascar.

    I accept that the aye-aye has a wider distribution than the other lemurs in the list, but it is the only living species of its family, unlike the other lemurs.
     
  9. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    For Biodiversity, I should vote for the Aye-aye; but as it’s status seems rather more secure than was previously thought, it has to be the Indri. Not only is it not capable of being kept in captivity, it is such an ambassador for conservation at Perinet; it serves as a conservation keystone species, probably the easiest to reach from Tana, and thus promotes Madagascan conservation to many people. Plus, it’s call is simply hauntingly beautiful.
     
  10. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    @Dassie rat I knew that you had been to Madagascar and were fond of the aye-aye but had no idea they were your favourite animal, I can totally see why you voted for this species in the poll.:)

    What was it like seeing this species for the first time in Paris ? What do you remember of that moment?

    I also agree that the aye-aye is of top conservation concern due to its evolutionary distinctiveness (a recognised EDGE species too) in being the only extant member of its family and of course that this contrasts with the other species in the poll.
     
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    @Tetzoo Quizzer Thank you for your comment and voting in the poll.

    That is a really interesting breakdown of why you voted for the indri in place of the aye-aye and the points you make are very pertinent. As you've mentioned the aye-aye has been established ex-situ whereas the indri never survives in captivity for long, it is a keystone species and as an iconic lemur species it is important in terms of eco-tourism.

    I think another interesting point is that the indri is also deeply culturally significant for the Malagasy people and was seen as sacred and an ancestral spirit by many ethnic groups within the country (sadly the aye-aye is seen as the polar opposite and associated with evil and mostly to be killed on sight).

    I know that this particular fady associated with the indri is slowly eroding the respect for this species with the intrusion of the modern world is driving bushmeat hunting etc but I still think it is an important factor that I just wanted to add.

    Also, I know from what you've posted in a previous thread of mine on lemurs that you've seen this species in Madagascar so I can also see another reason why it got your vote. :)
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2020
  12. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    When I visited Paris Vincennes Zoo for the first time in 1988, there was a house for nocturnal lemurs and one for diurnal lemurs.

    According to ZTL and my memory, the collection at that time included the following:
    Fork-crowned lemur (Phaner furcifer): This is the only time I saw the species
    Grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)
    Northern giant mouse lemur (Mirza zaza): I don't remember this one
    Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus): This was the first time I saw the species.
    Red-tailed sportive lemur (Lepilemur ruficaudatus): This is the only time I saw the species in captivity
    Crowned sifaka (Propithecus coronatus)
    Aye-aye (Daubentonia madgascariensis): This is the first time I saw the species. I believe I saw Humphrey. The aye-aye looked like a large bushbaby and was not the 'diminutive' species I had read about before. It hung upside down by its hind feet. It put its middle finger in the gap between the glass and the edge of the enclosure. I used one of my fingers to make finger contact with it.
     
  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    That is an incredible first encounter ! You made finger to finger contact with an aye-aye ?! :D

    I'm sure it was an unforgettable moment and no wonder this animal has been your favourite animal for such a long time!
     
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  14. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    You're right, OC. That was one of my big zoo moments
     
  15. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I can well imagine it @Dassie rat ! Its a really lovely memory and thank you for sharing it , really made me smile ! :)
     
  16. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    I voted for the Indri, because while the aye-aye may seem more unique and endangered, the Indri's habitat is getting devastated, and I feel should be one of the most prioritized lemur species right now. It is also the largest lemur species alive today, and thats something worth keeping the wonderful animal alive.

    EDIT: I should also ask, why the Jame's sportive lemur O.C.? And I'm not saying that its not any more important than any other of these animals, but I was just curious. The Jame's sportive lemur is of course, a fascinating nocturnal animal of Madagascar, and I do hope its conversation becomes more of a priority, because I would love to see a brighter future for this species as well. Nocturnal animals are so cool!
     
  17. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I should say that I voted for the James' sportive lemur in this poll for several reasons (pretty much all conservation related) that I'll post below (sorry, admittedly a bit of a lecture):

    • The James' sportive lemur is critically endangered and primarily because of bushmeat hunting and deforestation. I know that this isn't exactly an unusual threat for lemurs in madagascar though and they are all hunted and threatened by habitat destruction to some extent and to differing degrees. However, this seems to be particularly strong in the Menombo region to which it is endemic and pressures are very evident in the protected areas where it occurs.
    • This lemur occurs in incredibly low population densities (2 per 800 hectares) and is believed to have declined massively due to the threats it faces. However, there is no baseline data on this population decline to work from because of the lack of research which most of the other species mentioned in the poll have.
    • It is a species that is comparatively new to science (first described scientifically in 2006) and hardly anything is really known about its ecology. This is in sharp contrast to better known species like the Lac Alaotra gentle lemur, aye-aye and indri.
    • Due to the location of its occurrence (in forests along coastal areas) it is incredibly vulnerable to stochastic events like cyclones. These events have historically decimated lemur populations and worsened socio-ecological conditions in communities before in Madagascar. My fear would be that such stochastic events like a cyclone would just compound the situation already faced by the species which is quite frankly a classic extinction vortex scenario.
    • As far as I have been able to find out although there are future plans in place to conserve the species in-situ there are currently no NGO's or other such organization working with the species. The James' sportive lemur has no long term in-situ work or organisation like the Durrell Trust with the Lac Alaotra lemur or a lemur conservation network / Vohimana community based conservation project like the indri does.
    • Another factor that made me vote for this lemur species is the fact that it has no well established long term ex-situ / insurance population held within zoos or captive breeding centres. This is in sharp contrast with the Lac Alaotra gentle lemur and the aye-aye. It may be argued that the indri does not have this luxury either but my counter-argument to that point would be that what the indri lacks in ex-situ it has in an established in-situ conservation program.
    • The final factors that swayed me were that it is a true underdog (and even when compared with the other species in the poll) and I always go for the underdog. In addition to this I find it to be a very beautiful species. It is somewhat aye-aye looking in terms of the eyes, somewhat galago / gentle lemur looking in terms of the appearance / morphology
    That said, I concede that the James' sportive lemur is not as evolutionarily distinct or interesting as the aye-aye, nor as beautiful or culturally significant as the indri, nor as cute as the mouse lemur or the gentle lemur. So as I've said above I voted for this lemur based on it being a conservation neglected species and an underdog.
     
    Last edited: 8 Nov 2020
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  18. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, more lemurs just keep getting discovered almost every year, and Lemurs in general are some of the least studied out of all of the primates.

    They are very pretty animals, however, I'm not sure how many photographs relevant on the internet, as doing a quick google search comes up with a plethora of completely different Sportive lemur species.

    Thanks for your reasonings.
     
  19. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the comment and vote in the poll @CheeseChameleon2007 !

    I don't know if I'd agree about the aye-aye seeming to most people to be more unique or endangered (but perhaps it is more familiar to people because of its presence in zoos ?).

    I actually tend to think the indri is equally as distinctive / singular and unique looking in appearance and its ecology and status as the aye aye. I think both of these lemurs are very iconic species.

    Moreover, as @Dassie rat pointed out in his earlier comment the aye-aye has been found to be more widespread than previously thought and is definitely not as limited in distrubition as the indri.

    That said, I do absolutely agree with you that it would be an utter tragedy if the indri as the largest of the lemurs and another wonderful iconic species was to go extinct and it is great that the younger generations are so passionate about its conservation.
     
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  20. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, again, absolutely correct about the lack of relevant images of the species on google.

    Closely related sportive lemurs like the Milne Edward's sportive lemur, red tailed sportive lemur, white footed sportive lemur etc kept appearing.

    So I just went by the picture on the IUCN document and found others online by the ZSL EDGE fellow Naina Rabemananjara.
     
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