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The Diademed Sifaka

Study Site: Tsinjoarivo

Tsinjoarivo's Biodiversity

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Mitch

Mitchell Irwin

Dept. of Anthropology

Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL, USA 60115

Ph: +1 (815) 753-1524

Fax: +1 (815) 753-7027

Email: mirwin[at]niu.edu

As more of the world’s tropical forests become fragmented and degraded, the question of how biological diversity is maintained in degraded and fragmented habitat becomes ever more important. Some animals show remarkable flexibility in adapting to novel, disturbed and discontinuous environments, while others do not. In my research, I look in-depth at the ecology and behavior of the diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema) and other lemur species as they adapt to life in small, disturbed forest fragments in eastern Madagascar. The lemurs of Madagascar constitute a unique primate radiation that evolved in isolation from primates on other land masses, and many species are severely threatened through forest loss, fragmentation and other human activities. Given the sad reality that that large proportions of most lemurs' ranges are already fragmented and disturbed, understanding the ecological effects of fragmentation on these forest-dependent animals will help us make better-informed conservation decisions.

I am an Associate Professor based at the Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University.

 

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