The diademed sifaka is one of the largest species of lemur.
When threatened this sifaka makes a warning call that has been likened to a ‘kiss-sneeze’. It may use this warning call when it spots its predators, such as the fossa or Nile crocodiles, to alert its social group, or the predator itself. The diademed sifaka live in female dominated multi-male/multi-female groups of 2-8 individuals, in territories of 20-80ha. Females may only be sexually receptive for a few days, or possibly only one, out of the year. A single young is born after 179 days of gestation. This slow reproductive rate delays the speed at which the population can rebound from threats, and rapid changes in their environment. These threats come mostly from habitat destruction, either due to slash-and-burn agricultural practices, or timber extraction. However they are also hunted for food, all of which can have a very serious impact on remaining populations, despite being in protected areas. Lemurs are part of the most basal primates, along with lorises, pottos and bushbabies. They colonised Madagascar from mainland Africa 50-60 million years ago, and with a lack of competition from other non-primate mammals, these species diversified to fill a wide range of unusual ecological niches.
- Order: Primates
- Family: Indriidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 105 cm
- Weight: 4.75-8.5kg
The diademed sifaka are found in eastern and northeaster Madagascar, throughout the eastern rainforests, from Mangoro and Onive rivers, north to the Mananara River.
Habitat and Ecology
The diademed sifaka inhabit eastern rainforests, and some smaller forest fragments. They feed on fruits, flowers, seeds, and young leaves.