Climate change may lead bamboo lemurs towards annihilation, says study

01 November 2017, 08:02 AM
Climate change may lead bamboo lemurs towards annihilation, says study
Climate change may lead bamboo lemurs towards annihilation, says study

A latest study led by a group of researchers from the Stony Brook University, the Academy of Finland, Marie Curie Actions of the European Union and the Kone Foundation has found that adverse climate change may force bamboo lemurs to change their dietary habits, causing them to slowly starve.

Bamboo lemur is one of the most endangered primate species on planet Earth and only 500 of them are currently present in the wild, reported Xinhua news agency.

The latest study published in the journal 'Current Biology' has mentioned, Madagascar's cat-sized greater bamboo lemurs eat a single species of bamboo, including the woody trunk, known as culm.

Moreover, they prefer the more nutritious and tender bamboo shoots and use their specialized teeth to gnaw on culm only when necessary, during the dry season.

The months long study conducted on the bamboo lemurs of Madagascar's Ranomafana National Park has showed that, they have highly complex and specialised teeth which makes them capable of feeding on culm.

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These teeth help them consuming and survive on woody culm during the unavailibility of tender shoots from August to November and they spend 95 per cent of their feeding time eating a single species of woody bamboo.

However, changes in climate may cause the presence of dry season for a longer time and will make the preferred and nutritious bamboo parts unavailable for the lemurs.

"For extreme feeding specialists like the greater bamboo lemur, climate change can be a stealthy killer," author Patricia Wright from Stony Brook University was quoted while talking about those findings.

"Making the lemurs rely on a suboptimal part of their food for just a bit longer may be enough to tip the balance from existence to extinction," Patricia added further.

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Hence, the species will be threatened by climate change and deforestation in a more subtle way and people all over the world are likely to witness annihilation of the primate species from our planet.

First Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 08:39 AM
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