Examining visual measures of coat and body condition in wild ring-tailed lemurs at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Journal Article uri icon



  • Coat and body mass status provide a potential noninvasive way to assess primate health status as well as the effects of seasonality, resource use and reproductive state. Coat and body condition were scored visually for 36 wild Lemur catta at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, from July 2012 to March 2013. Coat quality generally increased during the wet season when resource availability increased, in contrast to that observed during the resource-depleted dry season. Alopecia frequency increased from June to December and declined between January and March. Sex differences for coat condition were only observed in January, when males had superior coat scores. Body condition did not vary by month or sex except in February, when males were larger than females. Females that birthed infants were of lower body size than individuals who did not for November and from January to March. Our results indicate visual methods effectively detect variability in coat and body condition related to seasonality and reproductive status. Such methods present a noninvasive means for assessing the impact of seasonal resource availability, stresses of infant care and reproductive state on ring-tailed lemurs, and may be useful for assessing the impacts of these factors on general health status.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • August 13, 2015 12:25 PM

Full Author List

  • Millette JB; Sauther ML; Cuozzo FP

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1421-9980

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 44

end page

  • 55


  • 86


  • 1-2