johnweir

GREATER BAMBOO LEMUR. (RANOMAFANA). UPDATES REQUIRED.

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In 2013 we travelled to Madagascar visiting several wildlife sites in the central to southern regions of the island. It was very productive and we recorded 23 different lemur species/sub-species. Three fosa were also seen in Kirindy. However we left Ranomafana N.P. in low spirits as at that time we saw the last 2 Greater Bamboo Lemurs in the park, a male and his daughter. I believe either before we got there or shortly after we left a re-introduction programme was attempted to boost numbers, which ended in failure. Five ? were moved in from outside the park and either went missing or died. There appears to be little or no information available on the current status of the species in the park. We often reflect on the sad plight of the last two remaining individuals. There must be some members who have visited the park since 2013 and have some recent information. It would be great to get an update.

 

IMAGE: FEMALE GREATER BAMBOO LEMUR.(Prolemur simus). July 2013. Ranomafana N.P.

post-50942-0-03281900-1478710517_thumb.jpg

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GOOD NEWS FROM MADAGASCAR.

A recent trip report to Madagascar 2017 published on the 'Mammal Watching' forum, rekindled my interest to try and find out how the critically endangered population of The Greater Bamboo Lemur was doing in Ranomafana N.P.

I was very surprised that my short article above had not solicited a response, so hence I had feared the worst.

So it was with surprise that I learned from the recent trip report that the male and his daughter (see article above) were still alive and doing well as of July 2017.

I decided to e-mail the ValBio Research Station in the park and see if any developments had taken place since my 2013 visit, I already knew that prior to my visit a relocation attempt had failed.

I was therefore very surprised and pleased to get a reply from Dr. Patricia Wright. ( one of the world's leading primate / lemur experts and Ex.Dir. Centre ValBio Ranomafana N.P.).

The current situation appears to be:

1. They have just received a grant to translocate some individuals from outside the park.

2. Lessons have been learned from the original translocation, which failed, mainly due to the incompatibility of the incomers with the resident group. The incomers slipped their collars and were lost. They are possibly still inside the park, but definitely not with the father and daughter that had left such an impression on me in 2013.

3. The funding will allow permits to be applied for from Madagascar National Parks to conduct the translocation before the breeding season starts in April 2018.

5. She stresses that it will not be an easy operation. Matchmaking is not an exact science, selection of specimens will need to be parasite free etc. 'But we will try again'.

6. All activity will abide by IUCN translocation rules.

She has promised to keep me up to date with developments. What a woman!

The Greater Bamboo Lemur is significantly at risk of extinction and it would be wonderful if a thriving group could be re- established in Ranomafana, where they will have at least a good chance of some degree of long term survival. The few remaining disjunct populations (small numbers) of this species are presently severely threatened by acute habitat loss and the bushmeat trade.

I look forward to some good news from Madagascar in the not too distant future about this magnificent species that really is on the edge.  

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