ABSTRACT: Although the number of described lemur species has increased considerably over the last 20 years, detailed biogeographic data are still lacking from many geographic regions, in particular in the eastern part of Madagascar. This study investigated mouse lemur species diversity in a previously unstudied Inter-River-System in the eastern Makira region. Three sites were visited and 26 individuals were sampled and characterized with 13 external morphometric measurements. Standard phylogenetic analyses were performed on the basis of sequences of three mitochondrial loci by including representatives of all other published mouse lemur species for comparison. The analyses revealed the presence of three mouse lemur species in one study site, two of which were previously undescribed. The two new species are genetically distinct and belong to the larger-bodied mouse lemur species on the island, whereas the third species, Microcebus mittermeieri, belongs to the smaller-bodied mouse lemur species. The study fully describes one of the new species. This study and other lemur inventories suggest that the Makira region is particularly rich in lemur species and the lack of any protected zone in this area should now attract the urgent attention of conservation stakeholders.
American Journal of Primatology 08/2008; 70(11):1033-46. · 2.22 Impact Factor