from a single Ocotea tree species (family Lauraceae), which they would girdle by removing strips of bark from a 5- to 10-cm-diameter tree branch. Feeding bouts on bark were lengthy: one recorded bout lasted 1 hour and 17 minutes (Powzyk, 1997). Bark consumption at Betampona was more common and involved nine different tree species, also including Ocotea. Indri exhibited a monthly maximum of 12.7% total feeding records on bark during September 2000 at Betampona, during the cool-dry season. Phenological monitoring showed this time of year to be one of limited young leaf and fruit availability (Britt et al., 2002). Richard (1977, 1978) reported that Propithecus verreauxi also ate bark during the dry season, using it as an important source of water. Overall, it appears that Indri residing in Betampona relied more heavily on mature leaves and bark, items that may contain high levels of plant fiber yet are clearly less preferred by Mantadia Indri.

Preferred Foods and Phytochemical Analysis

Only Indri indri food items from the Mantadia research site have undergone phytochemical analysis (Powzyk and Mowry, 2003). A list of the top ten preferred food items consumed by Indri based on time spent feeding at Mantadia was compiled, and field samples were collected/dried and analyzed for nutrient and secondary compound content. Of the top ten preferred food items for Indri, each was a

Table 2.


The ten most frequently consumed items by Indri indri at the Mantadia study




% of feeding time

Uapaca densifolia imm lvs imm lvs imm lvs imm lvs imm lvs imm lvs imm lvs imm lvs imm lvs imm lvs






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