Lac Alaotra Bamboo Lemur, Hapalemur alaotrensis

The Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur (Hapalemur alaotrensis) is native only to the island of Madagascar. Its other common names include the Alaotran bamboo lemur, Alaotran gentle lemur, and the Lac Alaotra gentle lemur, and its local name is the bandro. It lives in a small range comprised of the area in and around the reed beds of Lac Alaotra in northeast Madagascar.

The Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur is small, reaching an average body length of up to 1.3 feet and a weight of up to three pounds. The pelage of this lemur is thick and soft. The dorsal fur is greyish brown, while the fur on the chest and face are lighter grey in color. The head and neck fur are typically burnished brown in color. Unlike other bamboo lemurs, it does not feed on bamboo but on the papyrus reeds within its habitat.

The classification status of the Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur is disputed. Some consider it a subspecies of the eastern lesser bamboo lemur, while others consider it a distinct species. Genetic testing has proven to be inconclusive of whether the bandro is its own species, but it has shown that it might be more closely related to the eastern lesser bamboo lemur. The conservation status of the bandro is “Critically Endangered”. Fortunately, there is a conservation program for the Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur created by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Image Caption: Adult Alaotran gentle lemur (Hapalemur alaotrensis) in papyrus vegetation in Alaotra marsh, near Andreba Gare village (Madagascar). Credit: Jotaguru/Wikipedia(CC BY 3.0)