Population viability and harvest sustainability for Madagascar lemurs

Cara E. Brook, James P. Herrera, Cortni Borgerson, Emma C. Fuller, Pascal Andriamahazoarivosoa, B. J.Rodolph Rasolofoniaina, J. L.Rado Ravoavy Randrianasolo, Z. R.Eli Rakotondrafarasata, Hervet J. Randriamady, Andrew P. Dobson, Christopher D. Golden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Subsistence hunting presents a conservation challenge by which biodiversity preservation must be balanced with safeguarding of human livelihoods. Globally, subsistence hunting threatens primate populations, including Madagascar's endemic lemurs. We used population viability analysis to assess the sustainability of lemur hunting in Makira Natural Park, Madagascar. We identified trends in seasonal hunting of 11 Makira lemur species from household interview data, estimated local lemur densities in populations adjacent to focal villages via transect surveys, and quantified extinction vulnerability for these populations based on species-specific demographic parameters and empirically derived hunting rates. We compared stage-based Lefkovitch with periodic Leslie matrices to evaluate the impact of regional dispersal on persistence trajectories and explored the consequences of perturbations to the timing of peak hunting relative to the lemur birth pulse, under assumptions of density-dependent reproductive compensation. Lemur hunting peaked during the fruit-abundant wet season (March–June). Estimated local lemur densities were roughly inverse to body size across our study area. Life-history modeling indicated that hunting most severely threatened the species with the largest bodies (i.e., Hapalemur occidentalis, Avahi laniger, Daubentonia madagascariensis, and Indri indi), characterized by late-age reproductive onsets and long interbirth intervals. In model simulations, lemur dispersal within a regional metapopulation buffered extinction threats when a majority of local sites supported growth rates above the replacement level but drove regional extirpations when most local sites were overharvested. Hunt simulations were most detrimental when timed to overlap lemur births (a reality for D. madagascariensis and I. indri). In sum, Makira lemurs were overharvested. Regional extirpations, which may contribute to broad-scale extinctions, will be likely if current hunting rates persist. Cessation of anthropogenic lemur harvest is a conservation priority, and development programs are needed to help communities switch from wildlife consumption to domestic protein alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalConservation Biology
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Lemur
Lemuridae
Madagascar
hunting
viability
sustainability
extinction
subsistence
population viability analysis
harvest
program planning
metapopulation
threatened species
livelihood
wet season
primate
trajectories
simulation
villages
households

Keywords

  • análisis de viabilidad poblacional
  • caza
  • conservación y desarrollo
  • conservation and development hunting
  • food security
  • Leslie matrix modeling
  • modelado de matriz de Leslie
  • population viability analysis
  • PVA
  • PVA
  • seguridad alimenticia

Cite this

Brook, C. E., Herrera, J. P., Borgerson, C., Fuller, E. C., Andriamahazoarivosoa, P., Rasolofoniaina, B. J. R., ... Golden, C. D. (2019). Population viability and harvest sustainability for Madagascar lemurs. Conservation Biology, 33(1), 99-111. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13151
Brook, Cara E. ; Herrera, James P. ; Borgerson, Cortni ; Fuller, Emma C. ; Andriamahazoarivosoa, Pascal ; Rasolofoniaina, B. J.Rodolph ; Randrianasolo, J. L.Rado Ravoavy ; Rakotondrafarasata, Z. R.Eli ; Randriamady, Hervet J. ; Dobson, Andrew P. ; Golden, Christopher D. / Population viability and harvest sustainability for Madagascar lemurs. In: Conservation Biology. 2019 ; Vol. 33, No. 1. pp. 99-111.
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Brook, CE, Herrera, JP, Borgerson, C, Fuller, EC, Andriamahazoarivosoa, P, Rasolofoniaina, BJR, Randrianasolo, JLRR, Rakotondrafarasata, ZRE, Randriamady, HJ, Dobson, AP & Golden, CD 2019, 'Population viability and harvest sustainability for Madagascar lemurs', Conservation Biology, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 99-111. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13151

Population viability and harvest sustainability for Madagascar lemurs. / Brook, Cara E.; Herrera, James P.; Borgerson, Cortni; Fuller, Emma C.; Andriamahazoarivosoa, Pascal; Rasolofoniaina, B. J.Rodolph; Randrianasolo, J. L.Rado Ravoavy; Rakotondrafarasata, Z. R.Eli; Randriamady, Hervet J.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Golden, Christopher D.

In: Conservation Biology, Vol. 33, No. 1, 01.02.2019, p. 99-111.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Population viability and harvest sustainability for Madagascar lemurs

AU - Brook, Cara E.

AU - Herrera, James P.

AU - Borgerson, Cortni

AU - Fuller, Emma C.

AU - Andriamahazoarivosoa, Pascal

AU - Rasolofoniaina, B. J.Rodolph

AU - Randrianasolo, J. L.Rado Ravoavy

AU - Rakotondrafarasata, Z. R.Eli

AU - Randriamady, Hervet J.

AU - Dobson, Andrew P.

AU - Golden, Christopher D.

PY - 2019/2/1

Y1 - 2019/2/1

N2 - Subsistence hunting presents a conservation challenge by which biodiversity preservation must be balanced with safeguarding of human livelihoods. Globally, subsistence hunting threatens primate populations, including Madagascar's endemic lemurs. We used population viability analysis to assess the sustainability of lemur hunting in Makira Natural Park, Madagascar. We identified trends in seasonal hunting of 11 Makira lemur species from household interview data, estimated local lemur densities in populations adjacent to focal villages via transect surveys, and quantified extinction vulnerability for these populations based on species-specific demographic parameters and empirically derived hunting rates. We compared stage-based Lefkovitch with periodic Leslie matrices to evaluate the impact of regional dispersal on persistence trajectories and explored the consequences of perturbations to the timing of peak hunting relative to the lemur birth pulse, under assumptions of density-dependent reproductive compensation. Lemur hunting peaked during the fruit-abundant wet season (March–June). Estimated local lemur densities were roughly inverse to body size across our study area. Life-history modeling indicated that hunting most severely threatened the species with the largest bodies (i.e., Hapalemur occidentalis, Avahi laniger, Daubentonia madagascariensis, and Indri indi), characterized by late-age reproductive onsets and long interbirth intervals. In model simulations, lemur dispersal within a regional metapopulation buffered extinction threats when a majority of local sites supported growth rates above the replacement level but drove regional extirpations when most local sites were overharvested. Hunt simulations were most detrimental when timed to overlap lemur births (a reality for D. madagascariensis and I. indri). In sum, Makira lemurs were overharvested. Regional extirpations, which may contribute to broad-scale extinctions, will be likely if current hunting rates persist. Cessation of anthropogenic lemur harvest is a conservation priority, and development programs are needed to help communities switch from wildlife consumption to domestic protein alternatives.

AB - Subsistence hunting presents a conservation challenge by which biodiversity preservation must be balanced with safeguarding of human livelihoods. Globally, subsistence hunting threatens primate populations, including Madagascar's endemic lemurs. We used population viability analysis to assess the sustainability of lemur hunting in Makira Natural Park, Madagascar. We identified trends in seasonal hunting of 11 Makira lemur species from household interview data, estimated local lemur densities in populations adjacent to focal villages via transect surveys, and quantified extinction vulnerability for these populations based on species-specific demographic parameters and empirically derived hunting rates. We compared stage-based Lefkovitch with periodic Leslie matrices to evaluate the impact of regional dispersal on persistence trajectories and explored the consequences of perturbations to the timing of peak hunting relative to the lemur birth pulse, under assumptions of density-dependent reproductive compensation. Lemur hunting peaked during the fruit-abundant wet season (March–June). Estimated local lemur densities were roughly inverse to body size across our study area. Life-history modeling indicated that hunting most severely threatened the species with the largest bodies (i.e., Hapalemur occidentalis, Avahi laniger, Daubentonia madagascariensis, and Indri indi), characterized by late-age reproductive onsets and long interbirth intervals. In model simulations, lemur dispersal within a regional metapopulation buffered extinction threats when a majority of local sites supported growth rates above the replacement level but drove regional extirpations when most local sites were overharvested. Hunt simulations were most detrimental when timed to overlap lemur births (a reality for D. madagascariensis and I. indri). In sum, Makira lemurs were overharvested. Regional extirpations, which may contribute to broad-scale extinctions, will be likely if current hunting rates persist. Cessation of anthropogenic lemur harvest is a conservation priority, and development programs are needed to help communities switch from wildlife consumption to domestic protein alternatives.

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KW - conservación y desarrollo

KW - conservation and development hunting

KW - food security

KW - Leslie matrix modeling

KW - modelado de matriz de Leslie

KW - population viability analysis

KW - PVA

KW - PVA

KW - seguridad alimenticia

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Brook CE, Herrera JP, Borgerson C, Fuller EC, Andriamahazoarivosoa P, Rasolofoniaina BJR et al. Population viability and harvest sustainability for Madagascar lemurs. Conservation Biology. 2019 Feb 1;33(1):99-111. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13151