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Propithecus coronatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES INDRIIDAE

Scientific Name: Propithecus coronatus
Species Authority: Milne-Edwards, 1871
Common Name(s):
English Crowned Sifaka
Synonym(s):
Propithecus verreauxi subspecies coronatus Milne-Edwards, 1871
Taxonomic Notes: Considered a subspecies of P. verreauxi by Groves (1993) and of P. deckenii by Groves (2001). Thalmann et al. (2002) argued that it deserved species status, recently supported by the craniometric study of Groves and Helgen (2007) which found this species to have highly distinctive cranial features.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2acd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-07-11
Assessor(s): Andriaholinirina, N., Baden, A., Blanco, M., Chikhi, L., Cooke, A., Davies, N., Dolch, R., Donati, G., Ganzhorn, J., Golden, C., Groeneveld, L.F., Irwin, M., Johnson, S., Kappeler, P., King, T., Lewis, R., Louis, E.E., Markolf, M., Mass, V., Mittermeier, R.A., Nichols, R., Patel, E., Rabarivola, C.J., Rajaobelina, S., Rakotoarisoa, G., Rakotomanga, B., Rakotonanahary, J., Rakotondrainibe, H., Rakotondratsimba, G., Rakotondratsimba, M., Rakotonirina, L., Ralainasolo, F.B., Ralison, J., Ramahaleo, T., Ranaivoarisoa, J.F., Randrianahaleo, S.I., Randrianambinina, B., Randrianarimanana, L., Randrianasolo, H., Randriatahina, G., Rasamimananana, H., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Rasoloharijaona, S., Ratelolahy, F., Ratsimbazafy, J., Ratsimbazafy, N., Razafindraibe, H., Razafindramanana, J., Rowe, N., Salmona, J., Seiler, M., Volampeno, S., Wright, P., Youssouf, J., Zaonarivelo, J. & Zaramody, A.
Reviewer(s): Molur, S. & Schwitzer, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Chiozza, F. & Clark, F.
Justification:
Listed as Endangered as the species is suspected to have undergone a population decline of ≥50% over a period of 52.5 years (three generations), due primarily to observed continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat from burning of forests to provide pasture for livestock and logging for charcoal production, in addition to exploitation through unsustainable hunting pressure. These causes have not ceased, and will to a large extent not be easily reversible. Assuming population reductions to continue, this species may need to be uplisted to Critically Endangered in the near future.
History:
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is distributed from the Mahavavy River to the south-west (separating it from P. deckenii) and the Betsiboka River to the north-east (separating it from P. coquereli). Petter et al. (1977) subsequently pointed out that hybridization between P. coronatus and P. deckenii probably occurred along the upper reaches of the Mahavavy River. Collections made in the forests of Ambararatabe (to the west of the Mahavavy River) and sightings along the Bongolava Massif (west of Tsiroanomandidy) also appear to include individuals of P. coronatus. Also, reliable reports of Crowned Sifakas as far south as the Sakay River, as far east as Andanotongo, and south-east beyond Tsiroanomandidy suggest that the distribution of this species is more complicated than originally believed (Tattersall 1986). Sea level to 700 m. Following the discovery of unknown population of crowned sifaka in Dabolava, Miandrivazo, 450 km south of its known distribution (Razafindramanana and Rasamimanana 2010), many surveys have been conducted to identify the population of this species along the central highlands of Madagascar including Andasilaikatsaka, Mahajeby, Ambohitromby, Ambato-boeny, Mandrava and Ikay forests (Rakotonirina et al. in press).
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Muller et al. (2000) recorded densities of 48 groups/km² and 173 individuals/km² in Anjamena, using transect line sampling. Overall, population figures are in decline due to habitat loss. Based on surveys along the central highlands of Madagascar, population density ranges from 0.60 individuals/ha to 82.06 individuals/km² (Razafindramanana 2009, GERP 2011). Salmona et al. (2012) found the density of P. coronatus to vary among fragments, from a low 46 individuals/km² up 271 to a high 309 individuals/km².
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Propithecus coronatus is present higher in bigger trees and found in tree crowns frequently. The species visits many food patches and its diet is composed of young leaves, mature leaves, ripe and unripe fruits and a great quantity of flowers (Honess et al., 2012). Habitats are mainly characterised by fragmented zones of gallery forests, riparian forests, dry deciduous forests and primary forests along the central highlands of the country (GERP 2011). Diurnal and mainly arboreal. Field studies of this species have been few and short-term. At Anjamena, group size ranges from 2–8 individuals and home ranges from 1.2–1.5 ha, with territories being defended aggressively against neighbouring groups (Mittermeier et al. 2008 and references therein).  


Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is captured for the illegal pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss is the principal threat faced by this species. Forests within its range have declined dramatically over the last few decades, and continue to be burned to provide pasture for livestock and cut for charcoal production. There is also some live capture for the illegal pet trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is included on Appendix I of CITES. There are reports of its occurrence in two special reserves (Ambohijanahary and Kasijy), although the status of populations in these protected areas is questionable. Efforts should be made to secure protection for populations at Katsepy and Anjamena that have been the subject of brief studies and are also visited by tourists. In addition, there is a need for further survey of a few classified forests within the crowned sifaka’s possible range that may also harbour viable populations (Mittermeier et al. 2008). A project called Antrema is conserving coastal forest around Katsepy. There is a European captive breeding programme, with very few founders, but apparently showing some success (C. Schwitzer pers. comm.). There were 17 individuals reported to be in captivity in Europe and 2 individuals can be fund in the Lemur's Park, near Antananarivo (I.J. Porton pers. comm. 2009). Increased captivity of this species in Madagascar is recommended (C. Schwitzer pers. comm.); a properly established sifaka population would also be valuable for other future sifaka in captivity for ex situ conservation.

Following the discovery of small unknown populations of crowned sifaka living in fragmented habitats along the central highlands of Madagascar and a technical workshop on this species, a metapopulation conservation strategy been set up to save the population of Crowned Sifaka in Madagascar (Razafindramanana and Roullet 2011). This project aims to establish a metapopulation management approach to the conservation of the small and fragmented crowned sifaka populations and their habitats in Madagascar. The EAZA captive population is included in this programme to ensure its long-term viability as a reserve population for possible future reintroduction, but also as a model for the wild populations. This is a multidisciplinary strategy that involves many partners including members of EAZA and EEP (MEF/GERP/TAF 2011).

Citation: Andriaholinirina, N., Baden, A., Blanco, M., Chikhi, L., Cooke, A., Davies, N., Dolch, R., Donati, G., Ganzhorn, J., Golden, C., Groeneveld, L.F., Irwin, M., Johnson, S., Kappeler, P., King, T., Lewis, R., Louis, E.E., Markolf, M., Mass, V., Mittermeier, R.A., Nichols, R., Patel, E., Rabarivola, C.J., Rajaobelina, S., Rakotoarisoa, G., Rakotomanga, B., Rakotonanahary, J., Rakotondrainibe, H., Rakotondratsimba, G., Rakotondratsimba, M., Rakotonirina, L., Ralainasolo, F.B., Ralison, J., Ramahaleo, T., Ranaivoarisoa, J.F., Randrianahaleo, S.I., Randrianambinina, B., Randrianarimanana, L., Randrianasolo, H., Randriatahina, G., Rasamimananana, H., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Rasoloharijaona, S., Ratelolahy, F., Ratsimbazafy, J., Ratsimbazafy, N., Razafindraibe, H., Razafindramanana, J., Rowe, N., Salmona, J., Seiler, M., Volampeno, S., Wright, P., Youssouf, J., Zaonarivelo, J. & Zaramody, A. 2014. Propithecus coronatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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