Crowned Sifaka, Propithecus coronatus

The crowned sifaka (Propithecus coronatus) is native to Madagascar, with a range that extends to the Mahavavy River in the southwest. The northeastern border of this range is the Betsiboka River. It has been reported that the crowned sifaka occurs in south and southeast Madagascar, which may broaden its range. It prefers to reside in arid deciduous forests in western Madagascar.

The crowned sifaka can reach an average body length of 3.3 feet, with a tail length between 1.5 and 1.8 feet. Its fur is typically cream to white in color, while the shoulder, head, and neck fur is dark brown. It forms groups between two and eight individuals, with each group occupying a home range of up to 3.7 acres.

The crowned sifaka is threatened mainly by habitat loss. In many areas of its range, its natural habitat is being destroyed in order to create farmlands and areas where coal can be produced. Although hunting is not a major threat, some individuals are hunted or sold in the pet trade.

It is thought that the crowned sifaka resides in Kasijy and Ambohijanahary, both wildlife reserves, although their numbers in these areas are not yet known. More information is needed about the populations occurring in both protected and non-protected areas for conservation efforts to be successful. The crowned sifaka appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Endangered”.

Image Caption: Propithecus coronatus. Credit: Fanny Schertzer/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)