Material And Methods

Information on material and methods, study site, precipitation, subject capture, observations, feeding plants, and characterization of forest have been given in Thalmann (2001). Here, it is shortly summarized and complemented with unpublished information on climate and data on forest phenology.

I conducted the study between September 1994 and August 1997 at the Forestry Station of Ampijoroa (northwestern Madagascar; 16°19'S, 46°49'E; 80-330m above sea level) in deciduous seasonally dry western forest. The climate was documented by measuring precipitation and minimum and maximum temperature. Over the whole study period, seven different sportive lemurs were captured (three females, four males), and five different woolly lemurs (two females, three males) with a blowpipe, using 1-ml cold-air pressured narcotic syringe projectiles from Telinject® (Germany) loaded with Ketalar® or Narketan®. Observations using telemetry equipment from Holohil Systems (Canada, transmitters) and Telonics Inc. (Arizona, receivers) focused on one male and one female sportive lemur, and one male woolly lemur. Male and female Avahi virtually always move in close spatial proximity through the forest, and feed simultaneously in the same trees and lianas, whereas Lepilemur males and females mostly forage independently. For direct observations and follows I established a grid (Figure 1) with small perpendicular trails every 10 m. During regular observations I used instantaneous time sampling and recorded every 2 minutes the quadrat, the location within the quadrat (xy-coordinates and height), and the activity (rest, move, feed [food item and location], groom [self-groom, partner groom]), along with miscellaneous observations (e.g., occurrence of complex vocalizations in Lepilemur). Regular observations usually lasted from 18:00 to 24:00 and from 24:00 to the time the animal reached their sleeping site in the morning, and were combined to cover an entire nightly activity period. I observed the focal animals for a total of 590 hours. For reasons of statistical simplicity and to balance sample sizes to some degree I used for most analyses a reduced sample, i.e., one activity period per month per animal totalling 432 hours (144 hours for the focal male Avahi individual A1m; 288 hours for the two focal Lepilemur individuals, 144 hours each, male L1m and female L2f). Sleeping sites were determined every day as far as possible. For nonfocal animals the sleeping sites were also located on a daily basis whenever possible, and occasional follows or sequential locations of the different individuals were conducted opportunistically during the nightly activity period.

I marked feeding plants during regular observations, collected data (diameter at breast height [DBH], estimate of tree crown volume [TCV]), and identified and permanently tagged the plants during daylight. The forest was characterized by means of a plot method (Figure 1). I randomly chose 40 plots of 25 m2 each, determined DBH, and identified trees with the help of a reputed local guide.

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