Overview

Brief Summary

The Perrier's sifaka according to MammalMAP

With an EDGE score (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered scores combined) of 5.31, the peculiar Perrier’s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri) is considered one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world.

Perrier’s sifakas are endemic to Madagascar and can be found in the northeastern parts, mainly on the Analamerana Special Reserve and some forest fragments to the west.

The thick, silky coat of Perrier’s sifaka is black, covering its entire body except for the face and ears. Females are slightly larger than males, and weight ranges between 3.7 to 6 kilograms.

During the dry season Perrier’s sifakas mainly eat leaves and flowers, but during the wet season they feed more on fruits and seeds.

Unlike most other species, Perrier’s sifakas have groups of unbiased sex dispersal of between 2 and 6 individuals, although societies seems to be mainly matriarchal, with females having feeding priority.

Perrier’s sifakas communicate using vocalisations, which includes warning calls who some describe as a sneeze-like sound. Grooming has also been observed.

The Perrier’s sifaka is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and numbers continue to decline. The number of mature adults is estimated to be less than 250 individuals – since 1985 an estimated third of the rainforest has disappeared. The decline in numbers is mainly due to habitat destruction. Hunting and predation from fossa may also have a negative impact on lemur population.

  • Andrainarivo, C., Andriaholinirina, V.N., Feistner, A., Felix, T., Ganzhorn, J., Garbutt, N., Golden, C., Konstant, B., Louis Jr., E., Meyers, D., Mittermeier, R.A., Perieras, A., Princee, F., Rabarivola, J.C., Rakotosamimanana, B., Rasamimanana, H., Ratsimbazafy, J., Raveloarinoro, G., Razafimanantsoa, A., Rumpler, Y., Schwitzer, C., Thalmann, U., Wilmé, L. & Wright, P. 2008. Propithecus perrieri. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 21 November 2013.
  • Gaudreau, R. 2009. Propithecus perrieri. In: Animal Diversity Web. . Downloaded on 21 November 2013.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species has a very restricted range in northern Madagascar that includes the Analamerana Massifs. It was formerly recorded in the Ankarana forests (where it may not have been resident), but has not been recorded at all during recent surveys, although animals were observed in forest fragments between Analamerana and Ankarana (Banks et al. 2007). Ranges from sea level to 400 m.
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Geographic Range

Perrier's sifakas are native to and only found on the island of Madagascar. They can be found in the northeastern and northern parts of Madagascar.

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

  • Groves, C., K. Helgen. 2007. Craniodental Characters in the Taxonomy of Propithecus. Int J Primatol, 28: 1363-1383.
  • Lehman, S., M. Mayor. 2004. Dietary Patterns in Perrier's Sifakas (Propithecus diadema perrieri): A Preliminary Study. American Journal of Primatology, 62: 115-122.
  • Schwitzer, C., O. Arnoult, B. Rakotosamimanana. 2006. An International conservation and research programme for Perrier's sifaka (Propithecus perrieri Lavauden, 1931) in northern Madagascar. Lemur News, 11: 12-14.
  • Banks, M., E. Ellis, Antonio, P. Wright. 2007. Global population size of a critically endangered lemur, Perrier's sifaka. Animal Conservation, 10: 254-262.
  • Gron, K. 2008. "Primate Factsheets: Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)" (On-line). Accessed January 09, 2009 at http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/diademed_sifaka.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perrier's sifakas have minimal sexual dimorphism, with females slightly larger (average of 4.44 kg) than males (average of 4.22 kg). The average body length is 48.9 cm. They have longer legs and tails than their torso and arms. They have coats of dense, silky, black fur except on their faces and ears which have no fur. Their eyes are small and face forward.

Range mass: 3.7 to 6.0 kg.

Average mass: 4.3 kg.

Average length: 48.9 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger

  • Pochron, S., W. Tucker, P. Wright. 2004. Demography, Life History, and Social Structure in Propithecus diadema edwardsi From 1986-2000 in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. American Journal of Pyhsical Anthropology, 125: 61-72.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is an inhabitant of tropical dry forest. Groups range in size from two to six individuals and home ranges approach 30 ha (Mittermeier et al. 2008, and references therein). Densities of fossa are extremely high in this region, and this carnivore could be having a negative impact on lemur populations.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Perrier's sifakas are eastern Madagascar lemurs. They are found in dry and riparian forests that border rivers in northern Madagascar. The elevation range is 10 to 600 meters with most being found at about 500 meters. The forests that border the rivers are riparian. The canopy is continuous and the understory is open. The riparian forest gives way to dry forests. Dry forests have a low and open canopy with a variety of vines in the understory. Perrier's sifakas will travel over savannahs to go from one forest area to another. Annual rainfall is 125.0 cm with most of it falling between November and April.

Range elevation: 10 to 600 m.

Average elevation: 500 m.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; rainforest

Other Habitat Features: riparian

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Perrier's sifakas are primarily folivorous, but they are also include fruit in their diet. They consume a wide variety of plants, leaves, seeds, and flowers. An average of 50% of their diet consists of leaves. These leaves come from a range of plants including Somotrorama species, Pittosporum orchrosiifolium, Sideroxylon species, Diospyros species, Olax species, and Dalbergia species. Their diet consists of 27% flowers of the plants Magifera indica, Sideroxylon, Vonga-vonga, Dalbergia, and Famoha. Fruit makes up about 17% of their diet and comes from the plants Tamarindus indica and Ficus pachyclada. Buds, petioles, and seeds finish off the remainder of their diets. This small portion of their food can come from the plants Scerocaryan and Landolphia. Rarely, but sometimes, they eat dirt.

Plant Foods: leaves; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit; flowers

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore , Frugivore )

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Perrier's sifakas may influence vegetation communities through their folivory and may disperse seeds when they eat fruits.

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Predation

The principal natural predators of Perrier's sifakas are fossas (Cryptoprocta ferox), which can travel on land and from tree to tree. Other possible predators include eagles and hawks. Raptors are mainly a danger to young. Humans also prey on sifakas. These sifakas use vocalizations to warn of possible danger.

Known Predators:

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Perrier's sifakas use vocalizations as a form of communication, including warning calls. Gron (2008) describes the sounds as sneeze like. Alloparenting and grooming are common forms of bonding. They use visual cues, such as genital swelling, to communicate sexual readiness. They are also likely to use chemical cues, as do other mammals.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

There are no known Propithecus perrieri in captivity. The longest living Propithecus species in captivity was 36 years old. The closely related, diademed sifakas have the greatest risk of death before the age of 5. After the age of 5 an individual can be expected to live to about 15.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
15 years.

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Reproduction

Perrier's sifaka mating habits have not been studied. In their close relative, Propithecus diadema, several different mating systems occur. Depending on group size, mating systems can be monogamous, polyandrous, polgynous, or polygnandrous.

Reproductive behavior of Propithecus perrieri has not been well-studied. Perrier's sifakas were once considered a subspecies of Propithecus diadema, diademed sifakas, which has been studied more thoroughly. In diademed sifakas, multiple mating strategies are present and they can change from season to season depending on group size and structure. Females are in estrus for a short period of time, about 10 hours. Both males and females show genital swelling at times of fertility. Females become sexually mature at about 4 years old and males at 5. Mating occurs in the summer and the birth of one offspring per female occurs 5 to 6 months later, typically in the austral winter month of June. Infanticide by both males and females has been observed in some groups of diademed sifakas. This can be attributed to the arrival of new males in the group and females having a short estrus time and long gestation period.

Breeding interval: Breeding interval is not known in Perrier's sifakas, but diademed sifakas breed about every year and a half.

Breeding season: In diademed sifakas, matings occur in the summer, December and January.

Average number of offspring: 4.36.

Range gestation period: 5 to 6 months.

Average gestation period: 6 months.

Average birth mass: 156 g.

Average weaning age: 5 months.

Average time to independence: 2 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 4 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 5 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous

There are no published reports of parental investment in Proptihecus perrieri. In the close relative, Propithecus diadema, mothers are the primary caregivers of their offspring. Very little alloparenting takes places in diademed sifaka groups. During the first weeks after birth the baby clings to the belly of its mother. At 3 to 4 weeks, offspring show more independence. There is contact with others in the group, play is often limited to other juveniles, but grooming is done by all. Around this time the baby will ride on the mother's back instead of the belly. Though the offspring are weaned around 5 months they stay under the mothers watch until about 2 years of age.

Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); post-independence association with parents; extended period of juvenile learning

  • Pochron, S., W. Tucker, P. Wright. 2004. Demography, Life History, and Social Structure in Propithecus diadema edwardsi From 1986-2000 in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. American Journal of Pyhsical Anthropology, 125: 61-72.
  • Gron, K. 2008. "Primate Info Net" (On-line). Primate Factsheets. Accessed February 19, 2009 at http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/diademed_sifaka/behav#.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
C2a(ii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Andrainarivo, C., Andriaholinirina, V.N., Feistner, A., Felix, T., Ganzhorn, J., Garbutt, N., Golden, C., Konstant, B., Louis Jr., E., Meyers, D., Mittermeier, R.A., Perieras, A., Princee, F., Rabarivola, J.C., Rakotosamimanana, B., Rasamimanana, H., Ratsimbazafy, J., Raveloarinoro, G., Razafimanantsoa, A., Rumpler, Y., Schwitzer, C., Thalmann, U., Wilmé, L. & Wright, P.

Reviewer/s
Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Critically Endangered as the number of mature individuals is estimated to number less than 250 animals, there is a continuing decline, and the majority of the population occurs in the Analamaerana Special Reserve.

History
  • 2000
    Critically Endangered
  • 1996
    Critically Endangered
  • 1990
    Endangered
    (IUCN 1990)
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Perrier's sifakas are considered critically endangered by the IUCN. All Propithecus species are considered endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Human destruction of the habitats of Propithecus perrieri represents their biggest threat to survival. Humans use slash-and-burn agriculture, logging, mine for gemstones, and hunt these sifakas. Another natural cause of sifaka death and destruction of habitat are wildfires.

US Federal List: endangered

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered

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Population

Population
Petter et al. (1977) suggested that the total population of Perrier's Sifakas was unlikely to exceed 1000 individuals, while Meyers and Ratsirarson (1989) suggested that about 2000 individuals may have then remained in the wild. More recently, densities in Analamerana were recorded at 3.1 individuals/km² (Banks et al. 2007). These authors projected this density estimate over the 295.6 km² forest area calculated as available habitat for Perrier?s Sifakas, and derived an estimate of 915 remaining individuals, estimating an effective population size of 230 individuals.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Slash-and-burn activities resulting in forest loss represents the greatest threat to this species. Additional threats include fires set to increase livestock pasture, the cutting of trees to produce charcoal, forest destruction caused by itinerant miners, and hunting. During the dry season, they drink water on the ground, and when they move between forest patches they move along the ground where their conspicuous coloration makes them vulnerable to predators and hunters.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is currently known only from the Analamerana Special Reserve, although even within this protected area the forests have been reduced by as much as 10% over an eight-year period (Banks et al. 2007). Banks et al. (2007) have called for the forests falling in between Ankarana and Analamerana to be annexed for inclusion as part of these protected areas, because these localities support Perrier?s sifakas and other threatened primates. The enhancement of infrastructure at Ankarana and Analamerana to support moderate tourist volumes and research presence should be considered.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse effects of Perrier's sifakas on humans.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Perrier's sifakas are important members of native ecosystems in Madagascar.

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Wikipedia

Perrier's sifaka

Perrier's sifaka (Propithecus perrieri) is a sifaka endemic to Madagascar. It was once formerly a subspecies of diademed sifaka[3] and is considered one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world.[4]

Description[edit]

It has a length of 85 to 92 centimeters, of which 42-46 centimeters are tail.[5] Its pelage is almost entirely black[5] covering everywhere on their body except for their face and ears. They have small forward facing eyes. The species have masses ranging from 3.7 to 6.0 kg. They have minimal sexual dimorphism, however females are slightly larger mass on average.[6]

Distribution[edit]

Perrier's sifaka has a very limited range in northeastern Madagascar between the Irodo River to the north and the Lokia River to the south.[5] The species' geographic range is concentrated on the Analamerana Special Reserve managed by Madagascar National Parks and in the Andrafiamena Protected Area managed by by the NGO Fanamby.[7] Its presence in the Ankarana National Park has been reported a few decades ago but could unfortunately not be confirmed in the last decade.[7][8] Its habitat consists of dry deciduous and semi-humid forest.[5] Groups of this species have a home range of about one hectare.

Diet[edit]

The diet of Perrier's sifaka resembles that of other sifakas, consisting of fruit, leaves, flowers, buds, petioles, and seeds. Sifakas are naturally suited for this herbivorous diet because they have long gastrointestinal tracts and enlarged cecums.[8] Groups of sifaka do not show any aggression towards other groups when feeding, let alone come into contact with each other.[9] Sifakas in general show seasonal variation in diet. During the wet season, Perrier's sifakas contribute most of their feeding time, about 70 to 90 percent of it, to fruits and seeds, but in the dry season most of the species feeding time is spent on leaves and flowers.[8]

Behavior[edit]

Perrier's sifakas use vocalizations to communicate including warning calls and have even been observed to make a sound described as sneezing.[6]

Social Structure[edit]

Sifakas have groups between 2 and 6 individuals.[5] Dispersal of sex is unbiased, which is uncommon among most species. Aggression between groups is extremely low as well as the overall encounter rates between groups. Society is largely matriarchal and females have feeding priority.[8] Mating habits have not been thoroughly studied yet.[6]

Life Cycle[edit]

The reproductive cycle is bound to the season and sifakas reproduce either every year or every two years. Infants have a slow growth rate given the large abundance of food on Madagascar, but dental development is just the opposite. A hypothesis has been put forth that this is to reduce the dependency period of the offspring and increase the chance of survival for the mother, who does not have to expend energy and time to raise her offspring. Most females do not place much effort into individual offspring, as half of sifaka infants die before the age of one.[8] Infants become dependent at the age of 2 and reach sexual maturity at the age of 4 for females and at the age of 5 for males. Males use genital swelling to communicate that they are ready for sex.[6]

Conservation status[edit]

Perrier's sifaka is one of the most endangered primates due to the limited distribution and low population density.[7][10] A recent conservation plan for the Perrier's sifaka has been developed following the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Lemur Red List reassessment meeting in Antananarivo in 2012.[11][12] While selective logging still seems to be one of the main threads in Analamerana special reserve, deforestation for slash and burn agriculture and for charcoal production is predominant in Andrafiamena protected area.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ Andrainarivo, C., Andriaholinirina, V. N., Feistner, A., Felix, T., Ganzhorn, J., Garbutt, N., Golden, C., Konstant, B., Louis Jr., E., Meyers, D., Mittermeier, R. A., Perieras, A., Princee, F., Rabarivola, J. C., Rakotosamimanana, B., Rasamimanana, H., Ratsimbazafy, J., Raveloarinoro, G., Razafimanantsoa, A., Rumpler, Y., Schwitzer, C., Thalmann, U., Wilmé, L. & Wright, P. (2008). Propithecus perrieri. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  3. ^ Christoph Schwitzer, Olivier Arnoult, Berthe Rakotosamimanana. "An international conservation and research programme for Perrier’s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri Lavauden, 1931) in northern Madagascar". Lemur News Vol. 11, 2006. Lemur News. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Mittmeier, R. et al. (2005) "Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates 2004-2006"
  5. ^ a b c d e Garbutt, Nick (2007). Mammals of Madagascar, A Complete Guide. pp. 189–191. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Facts about Perrier's Sifaka (Propithecus perrieri)". Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Salmona J, Jan F, Rasolondraibe E, Zaranaina R, Saïd Ousseni D, Mohamed-Thani I, Rakotonanahary A, Ralantoharijaona T, Kun-Rodrigues C, Carreira M, Wohlhauser S, Ranirison P, Zaonarivelo JR, Rabarivola JC, Chikhi L (2013). "Survey of the critically endangered Perrier’s sifaka (Propithecus Perrieri) across most if its distribution range. Lemur News 17:9–12". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Irwin, Mitchell. "Ecologically Enigmatic Lemurs: The Sifakas of the Eastern Forests (Propithecus candidus, P. diadema, P. edwardsi, P. perrieri, and P. tattersalli)". Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Shawn Lehman, Mireya Mayor. "Dietary Patterns in Perrier’s Sifakas (Propithecus diadema perrieri): A Preliminary Study". Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Banks MA, Ellis ER, Wright PC (2007) Global population size of a critically endangered lemur, Perrier’s sifaka. Animal Conservation 10:254–262
  11. ^ Salmona J, Zaonarivelo JR, Banks MA (2013) Analamerana and Andrafiamena, site-based action plan for Perrier’s sifaka conservation. In: Schwitzer C, Mittermeier RA, Davies N, Johnson SE, Ratsimbazafy J, Razafindramanana J, Louis EE, Rajaobelina S (eds) Lemurs of Madagascar: a strategy for their conservation 2013–2016. Bristol, UK: IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation, and Conservation International. p, p 140–141
  12. ^ Schwitzer C, Mittermeier RA, Davies N, Johnson S, Ratsimbazafy J, Razafindramanana J, Louis Jr EE, Rajaobelina S (2013). "Lemurs of Madagascar A Strategy for their Conservation 2013–2016. IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation, and Conservation International, Bristol, UK". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
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