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ESR 25:175-183 (2014)  -  DOI:

Extensive survey of the Endangered Coquerel’s sifaka Propithecus coquereli

Jordi Salmona1,*, Fabien Jan1, Emmanuel Rasolondraibe2, Aubin Besolo2, Dhurham Saïd Ousseni2, Angelika Beck1, Radavison Zaranaina2, Heriniaina Rakotoarisoa2, Clément Joseph Rabarivola2, Lounès Chikhi 1,3,4

1Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande, 6, 2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal
2Faculté des Sciences, Université de Mahajanga, BP 652 401 Mahajanga, Madagascar
3CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier, ENFA; UMR 5174 EDB (Laboratoire Evolution & Diversité Biologique), 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France
4Université de Toulouse; UMR 5174 EDB, 31062 Toulouse, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Coquerel’s sifaka Propithecus coquereli has a large but highly fragmented distribution. Despite its Endangered (EN) IUCN conservation status, uncertainties persist regarding its actual distribution and its presence in forests that are thought to be part of its distribution range. We provide here the first extensive population surveys of Coquerel’s sifaka across a large number of forest fragments neighboring 27 sites of its known and expected distribution range in northwestern Madagascar, including 12 previously visited sites. During our diurnal surveys carried out in the dry seasons from 2009 to 2011 we observed the species in 26 of the 27 visited sites. Combining our results with previously published data, we propose a refined update of the species’ distribution range and identify areas to be surveyed. We also recorded the support tree species on which sifakas were observed, and note that, surprisingly, P. coquereli was frequently seen around villages and in areas dominated by introduced tree species. Although the species was present at almost all the visited sites of its highly fragmented distribution range, it remains unclear how viable the populations of a significant proportion of these sites actually are. Due to political instability and high rates of deforestation, large-scale conservation actions are urgently needed. We thus (1) discuss the outline of a possible metapopulation conservation action plan for P. coquereli and (2) identify priority sites and actions.

KEY WORDS: Survey · Distribution range · Propithecus coquereli · Sifaka · Lemur · Madagascar

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Cite this article as: Salmona J, Jan F, Rasolondraibe E, Besolo A and others (2014) Extensive survey of the Endangered Coquerel’s sifaka Propithecus coquereli. Endang Species Res 25:175-183.

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