Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (OHDZA)’s Conservation Genetics Department and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP) have discovered a new lemur species. It is the 23rd species of lemur that has described by the OHDZA Genetics Department, since began it’s conservation efforts in 1999. This lemur has been named in honor of Andy Sabin, who has contributed support to numerous projects in Madagascar including lemurs, tortoises and amphibian conservation efforts. A big congratulations and many thanks to all of the co-authors, but mostly, the credit goes to the OHDZA-MBP staff and field team in Omaha and in Madagascar.
A New Species in the Genus Cheirogaleus (Cheirogaleidae).
Runhua Lei, Adam T. McLain, Cynthia L. Frasier, Justin M. Taylor, Carolyn A. Bailey, Shannon E. Engberg, Azure L. Ginter, Stephen D. Nash, Richard Randriamampionona, Colin P. Groves, Russell A. Mittermeier and Edward E. Louis, Jr.
Primate Conservation 2015 (29): published electronically prior to print
The genus Cheirogaleus, the dwarf lemurs (Infraorder Lemuriformes), has been identified as harboring cryptic species diversity. More comprehensive fieldwork combined with improvements in genetic research has revealed a larger radiation of species than was initially described in a number of lemur genera, including Avahi, Lepilemur, Microcebus, and Mirza.
Available genetic and morphological evidence suggests that Cheirogaleus is among the genera where diversity was previously underestimated, and additional fieldwork may reveal even more species. A population of Cheirogaleus from northern
Madagascar in and around Montagne d’Ambre National Park, surveyed during an expedition in 2005, was recently identified and proposed as a new species. Additional specimens were obtained during fieldwork in February of 2015. Subsequent genetic and morphological analyses of the data collected have determined that this population is an independent lineage, and herein we describe this new species, which we name Cheirogaleus andysabini after New York philanthropist Andy Sabin.
This is the 23rd lemur that Omaha’s Zoo Department of Conservation Genetics has described since we began our conservation efforts in 1999!