The Aye-aye’s cloistered existence has limited our understanding and knowledge of its ecology, demography, and population genetics in natural populations, and presented the scientific community with almost no sense of how these factors vary across the diverse forest types and regions of Madagascar inhabited by this species. These incredible lemurs with unusual traits including an elongated, thin, highly-flexible middle finger, continuously-growing rodent-like teeth and the largest relative brain size of any lemur, typically leads a solitary life. Aye-ayes have the largest species range of any existing lemur.
Since 2008, the OHDZA-MBP has been studying Aye-ayes in the Kianjavato and Torotorofotsy regions. Two lemurs in Torotorofotsy, one adult male Aye-aye named Masy and a female named Tsinjo, have been collared and are monitored by a MBP four-person local team. Their data is compared to that of Aye-aye’s living around OHDZA’s primary field site in the Kianjavato region. On a recent expedition, it was discovered that Tsinjo is expecting early July 2015! Since the OHDZA-MBP initially began following her in 2008, this upcoming birth is Tsinjo’s third offspring she will raise since then. We have our fingers crossed for a baby girl! In the video and picture to the left, Olivier and Celin, who are part of the MBP monitoring team, climbed up the tree to Tsinjo’s nest. They used a blowgun to sedate her, then carefully dropped her into the capture net being held by the team below for a health check-up for her and her unborn baby.
The field team collects GPS coordinates and records the Aye-aye’s activity. Using the GPS coordinates, maps are created to show the huge range of territory, habitat use and population demography for each collared Aye-aye.
Check out this video of Oliver and Celin
Below are photos of Masy and his re-collaring team.
Below is a photo of Tsinjo and her re-collaring team
Below is a photo of Tsinjo’s Nest