Short Communication

A major increase in the population of brown lemurs on Mayotte since the decline reported in 1987

Laurent Tarnaud a1 and Bruno Simmen a1
a1 CNRS FRE 2323, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 4 avenue du Petit Château 91800, Brunoy, France. E-mail: laurent.tarnaud@free.fr and simmen@ccr.jussieu.fr


The population of the Mayotte brown lemur Eulemur fulvus fulvus on the island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean was reported to have decreased by 50% between 1975 and 1987, from 50,000 to 25,000. From a series of censuses carried out in 1999 and 2000 in the various vegetation types of the island, we estimate that the lemur population now numbers 42,000–72,000. The decline observed in 1987 may have been largely caused by the cyclone that devastated Mayotte in 1984. That the population has recovered must not obscure the fact that loss of forest, increased human pressure associated with further development of infrastructure, and changes in agricultural practices will undoubtedly continue to affect this species on Mayotte.

Key Words: Brown lemur; cyclone; Eulemur fulvus fulvus; Indian Ocean; Mayotte; primate; population census.