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Propithèque couronné © MNHN - F-G Grandin

The crowned sifaka

The crowned sifaka is a mammal from the Indriidae family. A Madagascan tradition says that ancestors are reincarnated in this animal, so touching or killing it is taboo.

Profile

Class, order and family :
Mammalia, Primates, Indriidae
Life span :
up to 20 – 30 years in captivity
Size & Weight :
39 - 45 cm tall, 3.5 – 4.3 kg
Gestation period :
5.5 months, one baby (every 2-3 years)
Natural habitat :
dry forests, mangroves
Diet :
buds, fruit, leaves, flowers
Native region :
Madagascar
Statut UICN : 

Critically Endangered (CR)

Lifestyle

This large lemur feeds mainly on leaves, fruit and flowers. It roams its territory leaping from branch to branch on its sturdy hind legs. The sifaka can leap up to ten metres and biped on the ground! 
 
A taboo creature, it has long been protected by a Madagascan tradition that forbids killing it. Unfortunately, this tradition has not prevented the degradation and fragmentation of its habitat, which is now threatening its survival.
 

It owes its nickname of "sifakas" to the resounding whistle it emits to signal the presence of a predator to the other members of a group.

THE CROWNED SIFAKA: AN ENDANGERED SPECIES

It is estimated that there are only a few thousand wild individuals left in Madagascar. The population decline is mainly due to the destruction of forest cover by fire, agriculture, grazing and urbanisation. Hunting and illegal catches are also to blame. 
 
Only around a thousand individuals remain in the wild, 700 of them in the protected area managed by the Museum since 2000 in north-west Madagascar.

THE MUSEUM'S ACTION TO PROTECT THE CROWNED SIFAKA
The Parc Zoologique de Paris was the first institution to successfully breed crowned sifakas. It coordinates the management of their population in zoos. This breeding programme is extremely fragile, with only 18 individuals in 5 zoos. The Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle is also involved in conserving this species in its native environment, working with biologists, researchers and conservators in Madagascar.

THE CROWNED SIFAKA

MEET THE CROWNED SIFAKAS

The group at the Parc Zoologique de Paris is made up of two adult individuals. Efatra, the female, has yellow-green eyes and a small vertical black line on her nose, and Douany, the male, has blue eyes. They make an inseparable couple!

Propithèque couronné © MNHN - F-G Grandin
Propithèque couronné © MNHN - F-G Grandin