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Blue-eyed Black Lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) Fact Sheet: Population & Conservation Status

Population Status

Global population

  • Estimated at about 3,000-7,000 individuals (Schwitzer et al. 2006; Schwitzer et al. 2014; Schwitzer, personal communication, 2018)
    • Based on densities in some areas of Sahamlaza National Park and extrapolated to total area of terrestrial core zones in protected areas
    • Most live in forest fragments on and adjacent on the Sahamalaza Peninsula (Schwitzer et al. 2014)
    • In 2008, was among the 25 most threatened primates in the world (Andriaholinirina et al. 2014; Schwitzer et al. 2014)
  • Estimates of extinction (Volampeno et al. 2015)
    • Extinction likely in less than 5 decades (44 years); assuming low catastrophe rates (e.g. fire and logging)
    • Model predicts extinction within 11 years with higher rates of catastrophe

Regional population and density estimates

  • Ankarafa Forest, 2008 (Volampeno et al 2010)
    • Population density: 97.3 individuals/km2
    • Population size: 228 individuals

Conservation Status

IUCN Status

  • Critically Endangered (2018 assessment) (Volampeno et al. 2020)
    • Ongoing decline in area of occupancy and quality of habitat
      • >80% over the past 3 generations; c. 24 years
    • Cause of decline not easily reversible
    • High levels of exploitation by humans
  • Historical listing (Volampeno et al. 2020)
    • 2014 – Critically Endangered
    • 2011 – Critically Endangered
    • 2008 -- Endangered
    • 2000 – Critically Endangered
    • 1996 -- Critically Endangered
    • 1994 – Endangered
    • 1990 - Endangered
    • 1988 - Endangered
    • 1986 - Endangered

CITES status

Threats to Survival

Habitat destruction (from Andriaholinirina et al. 2014)

  • Greatest threat to species survival
    • Driven by slash-and-burn agriculture, logging, and mining
      • Recent increases in logging of forest trees and in frequency of forest fires followed political unrest, which began in early 2009

Exploitation by humans

  • Hunting (from Andriaholinirina et al. 2014)
    • Hunted locally for food
      • Targeted heavily by the Tsimihety people inhabiting the eastern portions of the species range
        • Trap density of 570 traps/km2, in one study
  • Some obtain for use as pets (from Andriaholinirina et al. 2014)

Management Actions

Populations within protected areas (from Andriaholinirina et al. 2014)

  • Parc National Sahamalaza-Iles Radama
    • Includes the Sahamalaza Peninsula and some mainland forests to the north and east
      • Sahamalaza Peninsula is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Conservation consortiums

  • Promote community-based conservation programs in Sahamalaza (from Schwitzer et al. 2014)
    • Association Europeenne pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lemuriens (AEECL) works together with several European zoos
    • Work to protect lemur habitat, improve living standards of the local human population, and maintain a field research station
  • Promote ecotourism (from Schwitzer et al. 2014)
    • AEECL and Madagascar National Parks support a community-based program on the periphery of the protected area in Sahamalaza

Needed actions (from Volampeno et al. 2015 unless otherwise noted)

  • Continue research
    • Expand understanding of behavior, ecology, and demography
  • Habitat restoration
    • Reforestation programs currently undertaken by AEECL and several European zoos
  • Create and implement environmental education programs for local people
  • Continue and expand programs, such as ecotourism, to support the local human economy (Schwitzer et al. 2006; Schwitzer et al. 2014)
  • Create corridors to connect forest fragments (Schwitzer et al. 2006)
  • Create and protect buffer zones surrounding forest fragments (Schwitzer et al. 2006)

Critically Endangered

Blue-eyed black lemur

Image credit: © D. Haring/Duke Lemur Center. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission from the artist.

Page Citations

Andriaholinirina et al. (2014)
Schwitzer et al. (2006)
Schwitzer et al. (2014)
Volampeno et al. (2010)
Volampeno et al. (2015)

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