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Range and conservation updates for the Critically Endangered blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons and the Vulnerable black lemur Eulemur macaco

  • Jen C. Tinsman (a1), Caitlin L. Eschmann (a2), J. Sedera Solofondranohatra (a3), Jocelyn Romelius Ralainirina (a3), Marc Holderied (a2) and Gráinne McCabe (a4)...


The Critically Endangered blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons of north-western Madagascar is one of the most threatened primates. The majority of research and conservation efforts for the species have been restricted to the Sahamalaza Peninsula but there are unstudied and unprotected populations farther inland. The dearth of information regarding the transition between E. flavifrons and its parapatric sister species, the Vulnerable black lemur Eulemur macaco, and the possibility of a hybrid population complicates conservation planning for both species. We surveyed 29 forest fragments across both species’ ranges to investigate the boundary between the taxa, whether hybrids persist, and the threats to lemurs in the region. We found E. flavifrons in six fragments and E. macaco in 17. We never observed E. flavifrons and E. macaco in the same location and we found no conclusive evidence of hybrids. Three fragments in which E. flavifrons was present were north of the Andranomalaza River, which had previously been considered the barrier between the two species. Based on these observations and a literature review, we provide updated ranges, increasing the extent of occurrence (EOO) of E. flavifrons by 28.7% and reducing the EOO of E. macaco by 44.5%. We also evaluate the capacity of protected areas to conserve these lemurs. We recommend additional surveys and the implementation of an education programme in this region to help conserve both species.


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Also at: New York Consortium on Evolutionary Primatology, New York, USA

Also at: Bristol Zoological Society, College Road, Clifton, Bristol, UK

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Supplementary material for this article is available at



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