The name sifaka is a reference to a common call given by western dry forest sifakas in which they give an explosive, hiss-like “shee-faak” call several times in succession, though sifakas are actually rather silent animals.
Perrier’s sifaka is distinguished from other members of the group by its dense black coat and is perhaps one of the most geographically restricted and least-studied members of the genus Propithecus. There are nine species in the genus Propithecus, all of which are threatened. Lemurs as a group are an ancient lineage of primates dating back to 50 million years ago, evolving independently on the island of Madagascar. Perrier’s sifakas are usually found at elevations below 500 m, in small forest fragments, they are found in both dry and riparian forests. This species is under threat from continued habitat loss and hunting throughout their restricted range.
- Order: Primates
- Family: Indriidae
- Population: <500
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 43-47cm
- Weight: 3.7-5kg
Historically, restricted to areas of dry forests that occurs within the Analamerana Special Reserve and Andrafiamena Hills, and possibly sections of the neighbouring Ankarana Special Reserve (where it has not been recorded at all during recent surveys). Animals have been observed in forest fragments between Analamerana and Ankarana.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits tropical dry deciduous forest, from sea level to 400m. This species exhibits a vertical clinging and leaping form of locomotion. Very little is known of its behaviour in the wild. Individuals eat a variety of leaves, unripe fruit, stems and flowers.