Gerp’s mouse lemur was only discovered in 2012, as the Sahafina Forest, where it is found, had not been studied until 2008 and 2009.
Because of how recently it was discovered, very little is known about its behaviour, ecology, reproduction or communication. Lemurs belong to the suborder Strepsirhini, which also includes bushbabies, pottos and lorises. These groups are the most basal living primates and are characterised by their ‘wet’ noses. Ancestral prosimians, possibly resembling today’s mouse lemurs, are thought to have colonised Madagascar from mainland Africa 50-60 million years ago. In the absence of competition from other non-primate mammals, these species diversified to fill a wide range of unusual ecological niches. Gerp’s mouse lemur appears to be restricted to a lowland rainforest fragment of 15.6km², which is surrounded by secondary forest previously used for rice farming. Gerp’s lemur is threatened by hunting, habitat degradation, as well as habitat loss, from unsustainable farming practices and logging.
- Order: Primates
- Family: Cheirogaleidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 12-14cm
- Weight: 68g
Gerp’s mouse lemurs are found in central eastern Madagascar, only in their type locality; the Sahafina Forest.
Habitat and Ecology
They inhabit lowland primary and secondary rainforest between 29-230m above sea level. Little is known of its ecology