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Tag Archives | Sahamalaza Iles Radama National Park

Oxford Brookes University

nprg_logoAbout the Nocturnal Primate Research Group

As part of the Lemur Conservation Action Plan, we are among the leading groups in charge of developing research and conservation in the recently established protected area of Tsitongambarika (south-east corner of Madagascar). This area, where no systematic research has been conducted so far, is considered one of the Action Plan priorities and one of the last large expanses of lowland rainforest left in Madagascar.

Since 1995, we have been studying the proximate and ultimate determinants of day-night activity (aka cathemeral activity) in true lemurs. This activity pattern is extremely rare among primates but common in lemurs, thus offering the unique opportunity to study the key transition between nocturnal and diurnal life during primate evolution.

The lemur species and field sites where we conducted our work on cathemeral activity are:

  • Eulemur collaris and Hapalemur meridionalis in the littoral forests of Mandena and Sainte Luce (Fort Dauphin);
  • Lemur catta and Eulemur hybrids in the gallery forest of Berenty (Fort Dauphin); and
  • Eulemur rufifrons in the dry forest of Kirindy (Morondava).

At the first two sites we have ongoing programs of research.

Studying How Lemurs Respond to Changes in Food Availability and Habitat

A second main stream of our research is focusing on lemur response to change in food availability and habitat disturbance. Since most forested areas in Madagascar have been modified by humans, understanding how lemurs respond to habitat disturbance and/or how they cope with new habitats is urgent. This response is investigated at various levels including thermoregulation, activity and ranging pattern, diet composition and nutritional ecology.

This work uses as a model the archipelago of fragments of the south-eastern littoral forest where the entire lemur community (Eulemur collarisHapalemur meridionalisAvahi meridionalis; Cheirogaleus sp.; Microcebus sp.) has been studied since 1999.

Members of our research groups have also studied the behavioural ecology of Allocebus trichotis and Mirza zaza in Andasibe and Sahamalaza, respectively.

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Bristol Zoological Society


The Bristol Zoological Society is focused on research that advances our knowledge of the behaviour and ecology of threatened lemurs in the Sahamalaza region of Madagascar.

Ultimately, our aim is to use this knowledge to inform conservation management plans and species assessments for species such as the:

  • blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons),
  • Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis),
  • Sambirano mouse lemur (Microcebus sambiranensis), and
  • black lemurs (Eulemur macaco).

Our work includes engagement and collaboration with local NGOs, conservationists and stakeholders such as communities surrounding the remaining forest fragments in this region. In addition to research, we also support local conservation education programmes through community education initiatives, teacher training and salary support.

Affiliations: University of Bristol, University of the West of England


Twitter: @BristolZooGdns


Address: Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, United Kingdom, BS8 3HA

Phone: +44(0) 117 974 7311


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