Lepilemur septentrionalis Rumpler and Albignac, 1975, Sahafary Forest, Madagascar.
OTHER COMMON NAMES Spanish: Lémur juguetón norteño.
I Lepilemur edwardsi I Lepilemur septentrionalis
Northern sportive lemurs possess binocular vision, a large cecum, and have large digital pads on their hands and feet for clinging. The upper parts of this species are gray, being darkest on the crown and paler in gray color on the rump and the hind limbs. From the crown down the back there is a darker gray median stripe. The under parts are gray in coloration.
Extreme northern tip of Madagascar from the left bank of the Loky river to the coast.
They live in dry, deciduous forest habitats. The population density is 60-564 animals per 0.4 sq mi (1.0 sq km).
Northern sportive lemurs are arboreal and nocturnal. During the day they sleep in tree holes or bundles of dense foliage and vines. Their social system is based on mothers and their offspring, while males live solitary lives. Male home ranges overlap one or more female home ranges. All members of the species are highly territorial, with males often violently defending their territories. Communication comes with various sounds. One such sound is a "loud" call, similar to the sound made by a crow, which is emitted by adult males in order to demarcate its territorial claims and to tell other males that it already occupies a certain area. Another sound is a "contact-rejection" call that is used when an individual approaches another one. This call consists of a series of resonant hissing calls that is followed by a two-phase vocalization.
They are folivorous (eating mostly leaves), but also will eat small amounts of fruits and flowers to supplement their diet. They are also cecotrophic, re-digesting their feces in order to break down cellulose in already eaten leaves
The Northern sportive lemur has a polygynous mating system, where the male visits several females during the mating season. Females give birth to one young during the year. Females leave their infants on branches while they forage for food.
Listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Also listed on CITES Appendix I and as endangered by the U.S. ESA. Total populations are estimated to number 10,000-100,000, and the species is threatened with destruction of its habitat.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Hunted for food. ♦
Was this article helpful?