CITES: Appendix I
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IUCN Red List: H. alaotrensis: CR; H. aureus: EN; H. griseus, H. meridionalis, H. occidentalis: VU
(What is Red List?)
Key: CR = Critically endangered, EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable, VU = Vulnerable, VU = Vulnerable
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)
Photo: Edward Louis
Some Hapalemur populations prefer degraded habitats that are being
re-colonized by bamboo. This makes them more vulnerable to hunting and further
habitat degradation due to the fact that such habitats are often near to humans
(Arrigo-Nelso & Wright 2004). Conservation threats and proposed solutions
are best documented for the Lake Alaotra bamboo lemur (H. alaotrensis), the most
threatened of the genus (Mutschler & Tan 2003). Very little information
about the conservation status or potential solutions is available for H.
griseus, H. meridionalis, or H. occidentalis (Mutschler & Tan
The current total population of H. alaotrensis is estimated at a
mere 3500 to 5500 individuals (Tan 2006). No population estimates for H.
aureus are available (Tan 2005).
Threat: Human-Induced Habitat Loss and Degradation
As is the case with most primates, the predominant threat to all species of
bamboo lemur is the loss of their natural habitat (Tan 2006).
At this point, most of the original habitat of H. alaotrensis has
already been converted for rice cultivation, and continuing conversion of
habitat for this use is a major threat (Mutschler & Feistner 1995;
Andrianandrasana et al. 2005). The species is restricted to a mere 220 km²
(84.9 mi²) (Tan 2006). The principal threat to the Lake Alaotra bamboo lemur
(H. alaotrensis) is the dry season burning of wetland vegetation that provides
the only habitat to the species (Copsey et al. 2009; Ralainasolo et al. 2006).
While there are a number of reasons for the burning of this habitat, the
predominant motivation appears to be to gain access to introduced fish
populations for food. However, other reasons for habitat clearance around Lake
Alaotra also included the creation of rice fields, for fishing in general, for
the hunting of bamboo lemurs and to show discontent with the government (Copsey
et al. 2009). Indeed, the existing habitat is so fragmented that gene flow
between existing populations is greatly reduced, affecting the long-term
viability of the populations (Ralainasolo et al. 2006).
H. occidentalis habitats are being lost to burning to create
pastureland, as well as to logging for charcoal procurement and mining
activities (Mittermeier et al. 2006). Similar activities threaten the habitats
of H. meridionalis, with additional forest clearance for the production of
Cannibis (Mittermeier et al. 2006). H. aureus is threatened by
slash-and-burn agriculture and by bamboo harvesting (Mittermeier et al.
Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)
H. griseus are hunted for bushmeat in the Makira forest in
northeastern Madagascar (Golden 2009). They are also kept as pets (Mittermeier
et al. 2006). H. occidentalis and H. aureus are hunted in
some parts of their ranges (Mittermeier et al. 2006). Poaching for food is also
a threat to H. alaotrensis, as is collection of the species for pets (Feistner
& Rakotoarinosy 1993; Mutschler et al. 2001; Ralainasolo et al. 2006).
There are some reports of intensive collecting (Mutschler et al. 2001). There
is also some evidence that some fady (taboos) against the hunting of bamboo
lemurs may be fading in their power to deter hunting (Mutschler et al.
LINKS TO MORE ABOUT CONSERVATION
ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN Hapalemur CONSERVATION
Content last modified: July 22, 2010
Written by Kurt Gron.
Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2010 July 22. Primate Factsheets: Bamboo lemur (Hapalemur) Conservation . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/bamboo_lemur/cons>. Accessed 2015 March 30.