Vegetation Thresholds for the Occurrence and Dispersal of Microcebus griseorufus in Southwestern Madagascar

  • Biogeography
  • Conservation
  • Disturbance
  • Forest degradation
  • Habitat use
  • Mouse lemurs
  • Primate populations are declining the world over due to anthropogenic threats, including habitat loss and degradation. This raises the important question of how much habitat degradation a species can cope with. Habitat degradation is pronounced in Madagascar, where most of the human population depends on the direct exploitation of natural resources. We aimed to identify the response of Microcebus griseorufus (the gray-brown mouse lemur) to forest degradation and to define the structural traits of the vegetation that might be crucial for the species' occurrence in anthropogenic landscapes. We documented the occurrence of Microcebus griseorufus in relation to vegetation structures along a gradient of forest degradation, at the edge of and west of Tsimanampetsotsa National Park in April and May 2007 and from October to December 2015. We confirmed the occurrence of Microcebus griseorufus using trapping and visual surveys, and measured vegetation structure. Logistic regression models showed that Microcebus griseorufus has a threshold response to tree density and the diameter of thick trees. The thresholds of occurrence were at 10-15\% of the tree density recorded in intact forest and a mean diameter of trees with a diameter at breast height of > 10 cm of 14.3 cm. The definition of such thresholds might help to maintain suitable habitat for this species and other primates living in anthropogenic landscapes, providing connectivity between isolated protected areas and allowing dispersal between populations.
  • info:eu-repo/semantics/closedAccess
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