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Propithecus verreauxi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES INDRIIDAE

Scientific Name: Propithecus verreauxi
Species Authority: A. Grandidier, 1867
Common Name(s):
English Verreaux's Sifaka
French Propithèque De Verreaux
Synonym(s):
Propithecus verreauxi subspecies verreauxi A. Grandidier, 1867

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2acd+3cd+4acd 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., Raharivololona, B., 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): Schwitzer, C. & Molur, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Chiozza, F.
Justification:

Listed as Endangered as the species is suspected to have undergone a population reduction of ≥50% over the past 52.5 years (three generations, assuming a generation length of 17.5 years) due primarily to observed and inferred continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat caused by the logging of spiny forest and riparian or gallery forest; slash-and-burn agriculture (especially for corn plantations) and charcoal and fuel wood production; deliberate and accidental fires due to deliberate burning to create savannah for feeding cattle; and exploitation through unsustainable levels of hunting. These causes have not ceased, and will to a large extent not be easily reversible. A future population reduction of ≥50% over a 52.5-year period is also suspected due to the same causes. Assuming population reductions to continue, this species may need up-listing to Critically Endangered in the near future.

History:
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: It is found in southern and southwestern Madagascar. The Tsiribihina River is believed to be the northern limit of the range in the west. In the southeast it is found near to (i.e., just north of) Tolagnaro (= Fort-Dauphin) in the Nahampoana Private Reserve, although it was probably introduced there and is not a part of its historical range. The range limit in the southeast is the transitional and spiny forest patches of the Mangatsiaka Parcel of Andohahela National Park. It occurs from sea level to 1,300 m (Mittermeier et al. 2008).

Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Significant variation in population densities has been noted in different forest types; in general densities are lower in areas of degraded habitat, but even very small forest patches can support sizeable numbers of this species. Reported estimates include 41 individuals/km² in Kirindy Mitea National Park, 150–200/km² at Berenty, and 400–500/km² at Antserananomby. Overall, population numbers are in decline due to habitat destruction (Mittermeier et al. 2010, and references therein).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a diurnal lemur that inhabits tropical dry lowland and montane forest, including spiny bush, brush-and scrub thickets, and riparian forests, and is also recorded in lowland rainforest in the south-east. The diet is seasonally variable but consists mainly of young and mature leaves, fruits and seeds, supplemented with bark, dead wood, and termite soil (Mittermeier et al. 2010, and references therein). It tends to live in small to medium, single and multi-male, groups that range from 2-14 (average five to six individuals), with home ranges varying from 4-20 ha depending on habitat. Breeding is seasonal, with mating taking place in January through to early March. Infants are almost completely independent at six months (Mittermeier et al. 2010, and references therein). The age of first reproduction is 5 or 6 years. A single young is born in June to September after a gestation of 162–170 days (Mittermeier et al. 2010, and references therein). 
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Although hunting is both illegal as well as fady (taboo) to several of the tribes living within its range (e.g., Antandroy, Mahafaly), it is nevertheless hunted for food by other tribes (e.g., Sakalava) and by immigrants to the region. In the Isalo region, this lemur is known as “sifaka-bilany” (“sifaka of the cooking pot”), but it is unclear whether this is because of its popularity as a food item or because of the sooty black appearance of individuals from this part of the species’ range.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Despite its wide distribution, the two principal habitats upon which this species depends for survival, (spiny forest and riparian or gallery forest), are under continual threat because of logging, slash-and-burn agriculture (especially for corn plantations) and charcoal and fuelwood production. Fires due to deliberate burning to create savannah for feeding cattle, as well as accidental due to the dry nature of the forest are also a major cause of habitat loss in some areas. Although hunting is both illegal as well as fady (taboo) to several of the tribes living within its range (e.g., Antandroy, Mahafaly), it is nevertheless hunted for food by other tribes (e.g., Sakalava) and by immigrants to the region. In the Isalo region, this lemur is known as “sifaka-bilany” (“sifaka of the cooking pot”), but it is unclear whether this is because of its popularity as a food item or because of the sooty black appearance of individuals from this part of the species’ range. Populations are also genetically impoverished in terms of heterozygosity in some areas (Mittermeier et al. 2010, and references therein).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is known to occur in five national parks (Andohahela, Isalo, Tsimanampetsotsa, Kirindy Mitea and Zombitse-Vohibasia), two special reserves (Andranomena and Beza-Mahafaly), and two private reserves (Analabe and Berenty). Populations are found as well in the Kirindy Forest (part of the Menabe-Antimena Protected Area) and in a number of unprotected classified forests and forest reserves. As of 2010, there are no animals held in captivity (I. J. Porton pers. comm.).


Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2014).

Lawler, R.R. 2011. Historical demography of a wild lemur population (Propithecus verreauxi) in southwest Madagascar. Population Ecology 53(1): 229-240.

Mittermeier, R.A., Louis Jr., E.E., Richardson, M., Schwitzer, C., Langrand, O., Rylands, A.B., Hawkins, F., Rajaobelina, S., Ratsimbazafy, J., Rasoloarison, R., Roos, C., Kappeler, P.M. and MacKinnon, J. 2010. Lemurs of Madagascar. 3rd edition. Conservation International, Arlington, VA.


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., Raharivololona, B., 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 verreauxi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 November 2014.
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