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Wesleyan University

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management

Abstract

This study examines the effects of re-grown forest habitat on L. catta behavior at Berenty Private Reserve in Southern Madagascar during the early wet season. Evaluation of the reforested area versus natural forest revealed significant differences in species composition and food availability. Though the re-grown forest showed signs of forest regeneration and total greater food availability, the natural forest of Malaza proved to contain more preferred food sources for L. catta. Behavioral observations were collected over eight full-day troop follows and showed significant differences in feeding behavior, activity budget, and intra-troop and inter-troop aggressions. The WELL troop in Ankoba, the re-grown forest, experienced a greater percentage of time spent moving and feeding in search of quality food products, less time resting, heightened levels of intra-troop competition, and a larger home-range. CX troop in Malaza benefited from an abundance of native species with high food-availability, such as Tamarindus indica and Rinorea greveana. Despite disparities in behavior between the groups, the re-grown forest of Ankoba is successful in supporting lemur populations. Reforestation, if done correctly and with special regard to introduced species, is a conservation strategy necessary for the island of Madagascar.

Disciplines

Animal Sciences | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment

 

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