Int J Primatol (2017) 38:623–628 DOI 10.1007/s10764-017-9967-8 COMMENTARY Recent Estimates of Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Population Declines are Methodologically Flawed and Misleading 1 2 Asia J. Murphy & Barry Ferguson & Charlie J. Gardner Received: 23 February 2017 /Accepted: 5 April 2017 /Published online: 8 May 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017 Conserving and managing threatened species requires accurate population estimates. Recently, LaFleur et al. (2017) and Gould and Sauther (2016) attempted to estimate the size of the extant population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) based on rapid field assessments and published counts from 32 and 34 sites, respectively, and estimated there to be fewer than 2500 ring-tailed lemurs remaining in the wild (Gould and Sauther 2016: 2000–2400 individuals; LaFleur et al. 2017: 2200 individuals). However, both studies have likely severely underestimated the size of the extant ring-tailed lemur population because of a range of methodological problems. Specifically, 1) the population status of several sites was misinterpreted from the literature, 2) population estimates for several important sites are incomplete or lacking, and 3) total population estimates are based on an incomplete sample of known populations. Misinterpretation of the Literature Both studies depend primarily on published records; however, the
International Journal of Primatology – Springer Journals
Published: May 8, 2017
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