The Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalaza) is a critically endangered small, nocturnal primate found only within a 10-km2 area in the Sahamalaza Peninsula in northwest Madagascar. This study is the first biomedical evaluation performed on lemurs from the genus Lepilemur. Complete medical evaluations were performed on 26 wild Sahamalaza sportive lemurs (11 males and 15 females) over a period of 17 months, to establish reference ranges for physiologic and biologic parameters. Twelve of these (five males and seven females) were examined and sampled twice during this period. The lemurs were anesthetized via remote injection (blow dart) with tiletamine-zolazepam.a Each animal received a complete physical examination, including measurement of body weight, crown to rump length and long bone lengths, body condition assessment, heart rate, respiratory rate and rectal temperature. In addition, blood samples were collected for complete blood count, serum biochemical profile, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, and when sample size allowed, Toxoplasma gondii serology. Fecal samples also were collected and analyzed. Three of the lemurs examined were juveniles (two males and one female) but the rest were adults. Six females were found to be pregnant on examination, but four of these also were examined and sampled when they were not pregnant. Body weights ranged from 460–1000 g. Body condition scores ranged from 2/9 (very under-conditioned) to 5/9 (ideal condition). No ectoparasites were found, but 25 of 32 fecal samples collected were positive for oxyurid ova. Of the 20 serum samples that were tested for Toxoplasma gondii antibodies, only two were positive.
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The authors would like to thank The Wild Animal Health Fund for providing an AAZV Research Grant, and AEECL (The Lemur Conservation Association) for their generous contribution, as without these this project would not have been possible. They also thank Abaxis UK for their generous donation of i-STAT® cartridges. The authors would also like to thank Isabella Mandl for the opportunity to examine and collect biologic samples from the wild Sahamalaza sportive lemurs that she was studying. They also thank Alan Toyne, Joe Norman, Andrew Double, Zoe Greenhill, Lynsey Bugg, Will Raffety, Guy Randriatahina and all the staff past and present at the AEECL Ankarafa Research Camp for their invaluable assistance with this project.