Sahafary sportive lemur, Northern weasel lemur
The northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis ), also known as the Sahafary sportive lemur or northern weasel lemur, is a species of lemur in the family Lepilemuridae. It is endemic to Madagascar. As a result of severe ecological and human pressures, the lemur is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) by the IUCN Red List.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Zoochory animals are those that can disperse plant seeds in several ways. Seeds can be transported on the outside of vertebrate animals (mostly mam...
Island endemic animals are found in a single defined geographic location, such as an island. Animals or organisms that are indigenous to a place ar...
Jumping (saltation) can be distinguished from running, galloping, and other gaits where the entire body is temporarily airborne by the relatively l...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Northern sportive lemur is distinguished by a dark band on its pale grey-brown back, stretching from the head to the tail. This animal is among the smallest Lepilemur species. The forward pointing eyes provide the Northern sportive lemur with a well-developed binocular vision. This lemur exhibits grey under-parts as well as brown coloration around its head top and shoulders. It travels between trees by taking leaps. The Northern sportive lemur leaps in an upright vertical posture, using the pads on its feet to cling to a tree, after which the animal rushes to a neighboring tree.
The small natural range of this species is limited to the extreme north of Madagascar, stretching from Montagne d’Ambre to the Mahavay River and Vohemar. Within this territory, the Northern sportive lemurs inhabit both dry deciduous forests and the wetter evergreen forests.
The behavior of these lemurs in insufficiently explored. However, the Northern sportive lemurs are known to be nocturnal animals, sleeping during the daytime hours. They are arboreal creatures and their sleeping sites are tree holes or foliage of trees, located at heights of 1 - 8 meters off the ground. As sportive lemurs, these animals are likely to be ‘caecotrophic’, breaking down cellulose of the leaves they consume by re-digesting their own feces, since this leaf-based diet gives them very little energy. A female will yield a single infant, which lives with its mother. When foraging, she will leave the young on a tree branch. Meanwhile, males tend to be solitary and highly territorial. The home range of each male usually overlaps with these of multiple females, whom he will visit during the breeding season. If another breeding male appear on this territory, the local male will fiercely defend its mating rights. The territorial behavior of males is also displayed by specific calls, intended to announce the presence of an individual in a particular area.
Northern sportive lemurs are polygynous, which means that one male gets an exclusive right to mating with multiple females. They breed between April and August, while most births occur in September-December. Gestation period lasts for 120 - 150 days, yielding a single infant per year. The baby is nursed, cared and protected only by its mother. Weaning occurs at 4 months old, after which many infants continue living with their mothers up until 1 year old. The age of maturity is about 1.5 years old.
Along with most Madagascar species, the Northern sportive lemurs heavily suffer from loss of their natural habitat, primarily because of charcoal production. Another serious concern is illegal hunting for meat, although the Northern sportive lemurs are officially protected in this area.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population of Northern sportive lemurs is only 50 individuals. This species’ numbers continue decreasing, and the animal is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List.
Due to their folivorous diet, the Northern sportive lemurs may have an impact on the trees they use. Additionally, they form an important link in the food chain of their range as a prey species for native boa predators.