Coquerels sifaka

Propithecus coquereli

Coquerel's sifaka is a diurnal, medium-sized lemur of the sifaka genus ''Propithecus''. Like all lemurs, it is endemic to Madagascar. It was once considered to be a subspecies of Verreaux's sifaka, but was eventually granted full species level.
Coquerels sifaka - Propithecus coquereli Coquerels sifaka (Propithecus coquereli), is a medium sized primate in one of the lemur families, Indriidae. It lives in Madagascar and can be found in a variety of habitats from rainforest to western Madagascar dry deciduous forests and dry and spiny forests. The fur is thick and silky and generally white with brown on the sides and on the arms. Like all sifakas, it has a long tail that it uses as a balance when leaping from tree to tree. However, its body is so highly adapted to an arboreal existence that on the ground its only means of locomotion is hopping. The species lives in small troops which forage for food. Coquerels sifaka,Propithecus coquereli,indriidae,lemur,lemure,madagascar,mammalia,primates,propithecus,propithecus verreauxi,sifaka,verreaux sifaka

Appearance

Coquerel's sifaka is a vertical clinger and leaper with long, powerful hind legs and an upright posture. It has a head-body length of 42–50 cm and a tail length of 50–60 cm. The total mature length is approximately 93 to 110 cm. Adult body mass is typically around 4 kg. The dorsal pelage and tail are white, with maroon patches on the chest and portions of the limbs. The coat is generally dense. Its face is bare and black except for a distinctive patch of white fur along the bridge of the nose. Its naked ears are also black, and its eyes are yellow or orange. The bottom of the lemurs hands and feet are black, while the thighs, arms, and chest are a chocolate brown. Also, just like all lemurs, Coquerel’s Sifaka’s have a toothcomb. They use this for grooming and sometimes scraping fruit off a pit.”
Closeup of Adult Coquerels sifaka posing, Ankarafantsika, Madagascar Overview:
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/41091/adult_coquerels_sifaka_posing_ankarafantsika_madagascar.html Africa,Ankarafantsika,Coquerels sifaka,Geotagged,Madagascar,Madagascar North,Propithecus coquereli,Spring,World

Distribution

This species occurs only at altitudes of less than 300 ft in the dry deciduous forests of northwestern Madagascar, including coastal forests. It primarily occurs to the north and east of the Betsiboka River, and the southerly portion of the range extends to Ambato-Boéni. They are common in these two areas.

Groups of this species have a home range area amounting to 4-9 hectares. Overall densities in the wild are observed in the range of 60 individuals per km².
Closeup of Coquerels sifaka neighbour, Ankarafantsika, Madagascar After a great day in Ankarafantsika where we had lots of luck regarding bird spotting, we returned to our lodge near the national park, and found out that a group of Coquerels sifakas had decided to have their resting period right in our back yard. They were very relaxed and close, a great moment to observe them. Africa,Ankarafantsika,Coquerels sifaka,Geotagged,Madagascar,Madagascar North,Propithecus coquereli,Spring,World

Status

Though its populations are thought to be widely distributed, Coquerel's sifaka is found in only two protected areas in Madagascar: the Ankarafantsika National Park and the Bora Special Reserve. It is an endangered species, according to the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. The principal threats to its existence are deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and hunting pressure. The locals often clear trees to produce new farming land, especially in the marshes where rice can be grown. In northwestern Madagascar, deforestation results from annual burning to create new pastureland for livestock. Trees are also cut for the production of charcoal.

Many local Malagasy traditions prohibit hunting of the Coquerel's sifaka. One such taboo derives from a legend of a sifaka saving the life of a boy who has fallen out of a tree. The story goes like this: "A little boy heads into the forest to find some honey. He spots a hive in a high tree and he ascends it. As he's about to reach in to collect the honey, he is immediately attacked by bees. The surprise causes the boy to lose his grip on the tree branch, and he falls to what is almost certainly his death. As the boy plummets toward the earth, a large lemur suddenly appears, swoops in and catches the boy, saving his life. Ever since that day, lemurs became sacred to the Malagasy and it is said that anyone who kills one shall have extreme misfortune."Smith, Dave. "Lemurs Killed, Eaten More in Madagascar as Taboos Fade." International Business Times. 29 Dec. 2011. Web. . However, these protective taboos are breaking down with cultural erosion and immigration.

This lemur is now hunted for bush-meat, but humans are not the only threat. The introduction of foreign species, especially cats and dogs, has hurt the Coquerel’s sifaka. PAW encourages the neutering and spaying of the cats and dogs on the island in order to protect the native wildlife. Even the protected areas in which the Coquerel's sifaka occurs offer it little protection. It is hunted even within Ankarafantsika, and the Bora Special Reserve has become seriously degraded.
A relaxed Coquerel's Sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) snacking on berries at Anjajavy, Madagascar Anjajavy has a resident population of these beautiful lemurs, which come near the lodge most afternoons for a snacking session. Coquerels sifaka,Fall,Geotagged,Lemur,Madagascar,Propithecus coquereli

Behavior

Coquerel's Sifaka lives in matriarchal groups of about three to ten individuals.
It is diurnal and primarily arboreal. Much is known about its behavior from observations both in the wild and in captivity.Coquerel’s sifaka spend the majority of its time in areas of just two or three hectares. However, they can live in areas with four to eight. Even though their home range may overlap with other groups of sifaka, they just avoid each other in order to avoid aggression. When friendly Coquerel's sifakas meet, they greet each other by rubbing their noses together.

Matriarchy is rare in the animal kingdom as a whole but common among lemurs. A matriarchal system is particularly pronounced in Coquerel's sifaka. All adult and even most subadult females are dominant over males.

Females have preferential access to food and other resources. When a female is browsing a particular area or tree, a male must wait for her to finish before he moves there to feed himself. If he gets in the way of the female, she may lunge, smack at him, or bite him. The male then exhibits submissive behavior by rolling his tail between his legs, chattering softly, and baring his teeth in a grimace before quickly leaping out of her way.

When mating, Coquerel's sifaka commonly practices polyandry. A female may choose to mate with only one male, but most often she will mate with several, from other visiting groups as well as from her own. Males compete for access to sexually receptive females. However, the winner of a fight will not necessarily be the one she selects to breed with. The criteria by which she chooses a mate are evidently more complex.

In some other animals, polyandrous mating is thought to raise the chances of successful fertilization, but this does not appear to be the case in Coquerel's sifaka. Instead, polyandry is thought to be advantageous because when paternity is confused, the likelihood of male infanticide decreases.Coquerel's sifaka uses a variety of auditory, visual, and olfactory signals to communicate. ‘Sifaka' is a Malagasy name that comes from the lemurs’ characteristic “shif-auk” sound. The first syllable is a low growl that "bubbles" in the throat, and the second is a clicking sound like an amplified hiccup. The "shih-''fak''" call is used to warn fellow group members of a potential ground predator or to threaten enemies and intruders. Coquerel's sifaka is highly territorial.

Contact calls used when groups are traveling include soft grunts and growls. If a sifaka is separated from its group members, it may emit a long, loud wail to find them.

One visual signal which Coquerel's sifaka uses to communicate is a rapid backward jerking of the head. This is a threatening action which may accompany the "shih-''fak''" call.

Sifakas also rely heavily on scent for communication. Males typically scent-mark using a gland in their throats, which they will rub back and forth along branches. Females are more likely to scent-mark with anogenital glands. It is not entirely clear what information is conveyed in these scents, beyond the demarcation of territory.
Closeup of young Coquerels sifaka chewing on foliage, Ankarafantsika, Madagascar Overview:
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/41085/young_coquerels_sifaka_chewing_on_foliage_ankarafantsika_madagascar.html Africa,Ankarafantsika,Coquerels sifaka,Geotagged,Madagascar,Madagascar North,Propithecus coquereli,Spring,World

Reproduction

Female Coquerel’s sifakas choose who they mate with whether it be intragroup males or males from outside groups. They have synchronized estrous and this occurs during January and February. Infants are born in June and July after a gestation period of about 162 days. Normally, one infant is born during Madagascar’s dry season . Newborn lemurs have an average weight of 100 grams, though it can vary between 85 and 115 grams An infant will cling to its mother's chest until about a month or so after birth, then transfer to her back. Infants are weaned and become fully independent by about six months of age. Adult size is reached anywhere from one to five years.

Both males and females become sexually mature around two to three and half years old, though some do not have their first offspring until they are six. Hybrid species have been known to occur with some species. One such species is the ''Propithecus verreauxi''.
Coquerels sifaka with young, Ankarafantsika, Madagascar Our first sight of this beautiful lemur species. A fun fact is that in Ankarafantsika at the reception you have to pick from one of named hikes, and then pay your fee and pick up your guide. One of the hikes is named "Coquerels sifaka". But you won't find any on that hike since they all moved to the entrance of the park due to the enormous mango trees :) Africa,Ankarafantsika,Coquerels sifaka,Geotagged,Madagascar,Madagascar North,Propithecus coquereli,Spring,World

Food

Coquerel's sifaka has an herbivorous diet that varies by season. In the wet season, it eats immature leaves, flowers, fruit, bark, and dead wood. In the dry season, it eats mature leaves and buds. It may browse nearly 100 different plant species, but the majority of its feeding time will be concentrated on about 10% of these. Since it has a very fibrous diet, Coquerel's sifaka has an enlarged cecum and extremely long colon which helps facilitate digestion. These lemurs spend between thirty to forty percent of its day foraging, especially in the morning, midday, and evening. Females often take leadership roles during foraging, and exert their dominance by eating the preferred food or denying the males food until they are satisfied. These lemurs are beneficial to the environment because they aid seed dispersion and serve to populate the plant life. Captive Coquerel’s sifkas eat shining leaf sumac and mimosa.
Coquerels sifaka tree walker, Ankarafantsika, Madagascar Why risk jumping from tree to tree when you can just run on them :) Africa,Ankarafantsika,Coquerels sifaka,Geotagged,Madagascar,Madagascar North,Propithecus coquereli,Spring,World

Predators

Though its populations are thought to be widely distributed, Coquerel's sifaka is found in only two protected areas in Madagascar: the Ankarafantsika National Park and the Bora Special Reserve. It is an endangered species, according to the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. The principal threats to its existence are deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and hunting pressure. The locals often clear trees to produce new farming land, especially in the marshes where rice can be grown. In northwestern Madagascar, deforestation results from annual burning to create new pastureland for livestock. Trees are also cut for the production of charcoal.

Many local Malagasy traditions prohibit hunting of the Coquerel's sifaka. One such taboo derives from a legend of a sifaka saving the life of a boy who has fallen out of a tree. The story goes like this: "A little boy heads into the forest to find some honey. He spots a hive in a high tree and he ascends it. As he's about to reach in to collect the honey, he is immediately attacked by bees. The surprise causes the boy to lose his grip on the tree branch, and he falls to what is almost certainly his death. As the boy plummets toward the earth, a large lemur suddenly appears, swoops in and catches the boy, saving his life. Ever since that day, lemurs became sacred to the Malagasy and it is said that anyone who kills one shall have extreme misfortune."Smith, Dave. "Lemurs Killed, Eaten More in Madagascar as Taboos Fade." International Business Times. 29 Dec. 2011. Web. . However, these protective taboos are breaking down with cultural erosion and immigration.

This lemur is now hunted for bush-meat, but humans are not the only threat. The introduction of foreign species, especially cats and dogs, has hurt the Coquerel’s sifaka. PAW encourages the neutering and spaying of the cats and dogs on the island in order to protect the native wildlife. Even the protected areas in which the Coquerel's sifaka occurs offer it little protection. It is hunted even within Ankarafantsika, and the Bora Special Reserve has become seriously degraded.
Coquerel's Sifaka Coquerel's sifaka, is a medium sized primate in one of the lemur families, Indriidae. It lives in Madagascar and can be found in a variety of habitats from rainforest to western Madagascar dry deciduous forests and dry and spiny forests. The fur is thick and silky and generally white with brown on the sides, top of the head, and on the arms. Like all sifakas, it has a long tail that it uses as a balance when leaping from tree to tree. However, its body is so highly adapted to an arboreal existence that on the ground its only means of locomotion is hopping. The species lives in small troops which forage for food. Coquerels sifaka,Mammalia,Propithecus coquereli,indriidae,lemur,lemure,madagascar,primates,propithecus,propithecus verreauxi,sifaka,verreaux sifaka

Cultural

The lemur on Zoboomafoo is based on a Coquerel's sifaka. The Coquerel’s sifaka who starred in the show is named Jovian. Jovian lives at the Duke Lemur Center where the show was originally filmed. His son Charlie also lives at the Center, along with his family group of other Coquerel’s sifaka.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Endangered
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderPrimates
FamilyIndriidae
GenusPropithecus
SpeciesP. coquereli
Photographed in
Madagascar