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Research Mentor and Department
Relatively little is known about the Malagasy lemur species Indri indri, as they inhabit a limited geographic area in Eastern Madagascar and have never been sucessfully held or bred in captivity. For decades, they have been widely believed to form pair bonds within small family groups, but genetic testing has not confirmed this. Due to their endangered status, more information is needed to fully understand the mating and reproduction habits of Indri. Focal animal samples were collected at the Betampona Strict Nature Reserve in Madagascar from January 2013 to March 2014. These data revealed a male individual who appeared to display anomalous social behavior - splitting its time between two females, alternating between their company but never staying with them at the same time. Social behavior data collected for this male and his two companions were compared to data on three other groups that were comprised of varying combinations of adult males and females, adolescents, and juveniles. Frequencies of individual social behaviors were analyzed and compared between these groups to determine if pair behavior differed between pair-bonded and anomalous Indris.