Tuesday 21 May
Perrier’s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Perrier’s sifaka fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Perrier’s sifaka description
The rarest and least-studied of all of Madagascar’s sifakas, Perrier’s sifaka also has the unfortunate title of being the most endangered (4). Its dense fur is uniformly jet black, apart from the occasional tinge of russet brown on the chest and lower abdomen. Deep orange-red eyes are prominent against the hairless, dark grey or black face, and the small ears are mostly concealed (2). The powerful legs are longer than the arms and enable Perrier’s sifaka to propel itself between trees whilst keeping its body upright; this highly specialised method of locomotion, known as vertical clinging and leaping, is characteristic of all sifakas (5). Although sifakas gain their name from the shee-fak call used to maintain contact within their group, sifakas are actually rather silent animals (5).
- Propithecus diadema perrieri.
- Total length: 85 – 92 cm (2)
- Head-body length: 43 – 47 cm (2)
- Tail length: 42 – 46 cm (2)
- 3.7 – 5 kg (2)
Wildlife Conservation Society:
EDGE of Existence:
- Genetic variation
- The variety of genes within a particular species, population or breed causing differences in morphology, physiology and behaviour.
IUCN Red List (March 2010)
- Garbutt, N. (2007) Mammals of Madagascar: A Complete Guide. A&C Black Publishers Ltd.
CITES (March 2010)
- Mittermeier, R.A., Valladares-Pádua, C., Rylands, A.B., Eudey, A.A., Butynski, T.M., Ganzhorn, J.U., Kormos, R., Aguiar, J.M. and Walker, S. (2006) Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates, 2004 – 2006. Primate Conservation, 20: 1 - 28.
- Macdonald, D.W. (2001) The New Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Banks, M.A., Ellis, E.R., Antonio and Wright, P.C. (2007) Global population size of a critically endangered lemur, Perrier’s sifaka. Animal Conservation, 10: 254-262.
- Schwitzer, C., Arnoult, O. and Rakotosamimanana, B. (2006) An international conservation and research programme for Perrier’s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri Lavauden, 1931) in northern Madagascar). Lemur News, 11: 12-14.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Perrier’s sifaka biology
As this species has been rarely studied, little is known of its habits in the wild (4). It lives in small groups of two to six individuals and occupies a home range of about 30 hectares (4). Within each group, only one adult pair reproduces each year, with the infant being born in June or July (2).
Perrier’s sifaka feeds on a variety of leaves, unripe fruit, stems and flowers (2) (4), and as it moves through the forest searching for its preferred foods, it will maintain regular contact with other members of its group by calling quietly (2). From time to time Perrier’s sifaka will descend to the ground to drink water or to cross open areas between patches of forest; at such times the sifaka is highly vulnerable to predators such as the fossa and feral dogs (2). A distinctive alarm call is given if a predator, or human, is spotted, and all members of the group will rapidly gather in the surrounding trees, watching the predator individual, before swiftly moving away through the canopy (2).Top
Perrier’s sifaka range
Perrier’s sifaka occupies a tiny area of north-eastern Madagascar, situated between Irodo River to the north and Lokia River to the south (2). This range includes the Analamerana Special Reserve and Andrafiamena Hills, and once also included the north-eastern limits of the Ankarana Special Reserve (4), but it has not been recorded at all here during recent surveys (1).Top
Perrier’s sifaka habitat
This Critically Endangered species inhabits dry deciduous and semi-humid forests, from around sea level to around 400 metres (2).Top
Perrier’s sifaka statusTop
Perrier’s sifaka threats
Like many of Madagascar’s primates, Perrier’s sifaka is threatened by hunting and habitat loss. Suitable forest habitat is diminishing as a result of land clearance for agriculture and livestock, timber harvesting for charcoal and construction, and small-scale mining for gemstones (4), and even within a so-called protected area where this species occurs, an annual deforestation rate of 1.2 percent has been recorded (6). Whilst taboos against hunting once existed in many parts of Madagascar, the increase in immigrants without belief in such taboos has led to a worrying growth in hunting (2). Such threats have already reduced this species’ population to perilously low levels - in 2003-2004 it was estimated there were only 915 individuals remaining – and continue to push Perrier’s sifaka towards extinction (6). Such a small population is at great risk of problems arising from loss of genetic variation, making the long term viability of this species highly questionable (2) (6).Top
Perrier’s sifaka conservation
Analamerana Special Reserve harbours the majority of the Perrier’s sifaka population (1), although rather than offering the protection this rare species requires, forest within the reserve is still being gradually destroyed (1) (6), and this species clearly requires further protection if it is going to survive. Since 2005, a group of interested parties, led by the Monaco-based non-governmental organisation Act for Nature and the Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates de Madagascar, have been conducting a conservation and research programme for Perrier’s sifaka. The programme’s goals are to secure this species’ future in at least one major area currently without any degree of protection and to gain further scientific knowledge on this species that will help inform future conservation measures (7). The area between Analamerana Special Reserve and Ankarana Special Reserve is one area where forest protection has been strongly recommended (4).Top
Find out more
To learn about conservation efforts in Madagascar see:
To learn about efforts to conserve Perrier’s sifaka see:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.