|Perrier's sifaka range|
Perrier's sifaka (Propithecus perrieri) is a sifaka endemic to Madagascar. It was once formerly a subspecies of diademed sifaka and is considered one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world.
It has a length of 85 to 92 centimeters, of which 42-46 centimeters are tail. Its pelage is almost entirely black covering everywhere on their body except for their face and ears. They have small forward facing eyes. The species have masses ranging from 3.7 to 6.0 kg. They have minimal sexual dimorphism, however females are slightly larger mass on average.
Perrier's sifaka has a very limited range in northeastern Madagascar between the Irodo River to the north and the Lokia River to the south. The species' geographic range is concentrated on the Analerma Special Reserve and other small forest fragments to the west. Its habitat consists of dry deciduous and semi-humid forest. Groups of this species have a home range of about one hectare.
The diet of Perrier's sifaka resembles that of other sifakas, consisting of fruit, leaves, ﬂowers, buds, petioles, and seeds. Sifakas are naturally suited for this herbivorous diet because they have long gastrointestinal tracts and enlarged cecums. Groups of sifaka do not show any aggression towards other groups when feeding, let alone come into contact with each other. Sifakas in general show seasonal variation in diet. During the wet season, Perrier's sifakas contribute most of their feeding time, about 70 to 90 percent of it, to fruits and seeds, but in the dry season most of the species feeding time is spent on leaves and flowers.
Perrier's sifakas use vocalizations to communicate including warning calls and have even been observed to make a sound described as sneezing.
Sifakas have groups between 2 and 6 individuals. Dispersal of sex is unbiased, which is uncommon among most species. Aggression between groups is extremely low as well as the overall encounter rates between groups. Society is largely matriarchal and females have feeding priority. Mating habits have not been thoroughly studied yet.
The reproductive cycle is bound to the season and sifakas reproduce either every year or every two years. Infants have a slow growth rate given the large abundance of food on Madagascar, but dental development is just the opposite. A hypothesis has been put forth that this is to reduce the dependency period of the offspring and increase the chance of survival for the mother, who does not have to expend energy and time to raise her offspring. Most females do not place much effort into individual offspring, as half of sifaka infants die before the age of one. Infants become dependent at the age of 2 and reach sexual maturity at the age of 4 for females and at the age of 5 for males. Males use genital swelling to communicate that they are ready for sex.
Perrier's sifaka is one of the most endangered primates due to unprecedented levels of habitat destruction. An estimate third of the rainforest has disappeared since 1985 and the species is also being hunted to extinction. Fragmentation also disrupts the compatibility of the sifaka to its habitat because of the limit it poses on movement. Sifakas lose access to favored resources, a problem that cannot be solved without major changes in behavior. Sifakas also becocme hesitant cross to any other forest fragment more than 30 meters away. It is also important to note the limited distribution and light population density of Perrier's sifaka. Predation from fossa, the largest predator on the island of Madagascar, also poses a large threat to Perrier's sifaka.
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