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Propithecus candidus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES INDRIIDAE

Scientific Name: Propithecus candidus
Species Authority: A. Grandidier, 1871
Common Name(s):
English Silky Sifaka, Silky Simpona
Synonym(s):
Propithecus diadema subspecies candidus A. Grandidier, 1871
Taxonomic Notes: Considered a subspecies of P. diadema by Groves (2001), although Mayor et al. (2004) and Groves and Helgen (2007) considered it worthy of species status (Mittermeier et al. 2010).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i) 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. & Clark, F.
Justification:
This species has a very small remaining population size. The number of mature individuals is <250 and continuing to decline due to slash-and-burn agriculture; hunting; illegal logging of rosewood, pallisandre and ebony; and recent resurgence in illegal mining in Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve. The number of mature individuals in each subpopulation is <50. Based on these premises, the species is listed as Critically Endangered.
History:
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species has a very restricted range in north-eastern Madagascar that includes the humid forest belt extending from Maroantsetra to the north-eastern Makira (Antohaka Lava forest 15 km south of the Andapa Basin), Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve, and Marojejy National Park; however the precise limits of its distribution are unknown particularly in the Corridor Marojejy-Anjanaharibe Sud-Tsaratanana (COMATSA). Marojejy represents the northern limit of its known distribution, while the Andaparaty forest in Makira just north of the Antainambalana River is currently regarded as the southern limit. They are patchily distributed and occur at low densities. It is most commonly encountered at elevations between 700 and 1,875 m asl (Patel 2009, Mittermeier et al. 2010).

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

Population [top]

Population:

This is one of the rarest and most threatened sifakas, believed to number less than 250 mature individuals. Most of the remaining population is found in Marojejy National Park and Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve. Sterling and McFadden (2000) encountered only eight groups during 52 km of transect walks (encounter rate = .15) in Marojejy. Subsequent surveys in Marojejy since 2008 have found 31 groups with 81 adults and 131 total individuals, although southern Marojejy has not been surveyed (Patel 2009, 2010). In Anjanaharibe-Sud, Schmid and Smolker (1998) encountered only two groups during 68 km of transect walks (encounter rate = .03). In the Makira Natural Park, the species has only been found in a few widely separated locations (Andaparaty, Soavera, Manandriana, Antohaka Lava), some of which are unusually low elevation and disturbed (Rasolofoson et al. 2007, Rateolahy and Raivoarisoa 2007).

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

It is found mainly in tropical moist montane forest. One group in Marojejy (Camp 2) has been studied regularly since 2001 (Patel 2012).  Home range of this group is known to be 57.2 ha (100% MCP), 41.4 ha (95% kernel), and 14.2 ha (50% kernel). Diet is composed of over 100 species of tree, vine, and epiphytic/parasitic plants. They are folivorous seed-predators who consume mainly leaves (47.7%) and seeds (31.4%), but also considerable amounts of fruits (10.6%), flowers (9.8%), and stems (.5%). Females exhibit feeding priority over males.  Average daily path length is 528 m ± 162 m.  Group sizes range from 2 to 9 individuals and social structure tends to be either a single male with multiple females or pair bonded, although groups with multiple adult males have occasionally been found. Females mate only one day the whole year (December/January), though females within the same group are not in oestrus on the same day. Their only known predator (aside from humans) is the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (Patel, 2009, 2011; Mittermeier et al. 2010).



Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted for food.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Habitat destruction due to slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting are the primary threats. There is no taboo or “fady” against eating this species. Illegal logging of rosewood, pallisandre, and ebony also threaten this species (Patel 2007) as does a recent resurgence in illegal mining in Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is found in the Marojejy National Park and the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve, and (very rarely) the Anjanaharibe and Manandriana portions of Makira Protected Area north of the Antainambalana River. A small number of unexplored forest reserves and classified forests in north-eastern Madagascar are within the presumed range of this species and should be surveyed. Ambodivoahangy forest, where the species has been recorded, and the corridor between Betaolana and Anjanaharibe-Sud should be protected as a Conservation Site. Efforts aimed at ending lemur hunting in the Marojejy region and elsewhere should be continued and expanded. As of 2007, there are no animals held in captivity.

Bibliography [top]

Groves, C. P. 2001. Primate taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Groves, C. P. and Helgen, K. M. 2007. Craniodental Characters in the Taxonomy of Propithecus. International Journal of Primatology 28: 1363-1383.

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

Mayor, M. I., Sommer, J. A., Houck, M. L., Zaonarivelo, J. R., Wright, P. C., Ingram, C., Engel, S. R. and Louis, E. E. 2004. Specific status of Propithecus spp. International Journal of Primatology 25: 875-900.

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.

Patel, E.R. 2007. Logging of Rare Rosewood and Palisandre ( spp.) within Marojejy National Park, Madagascar. Madagascar Conservation and Development 2(1): 11-16.

Patel, E.R. 2009. Silky Sifaka, Propithecus candidus, 1871. Primates in Peril:The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates 2008-2010 .

Patel, E.R. 2010. Lemur survey in north-eastern Marojejy National Park (Andalangy). . Unpublished manuscript submitted to Madagascar National Parks: 25.

Patel, E.R. 2011. Diet, habitat, and ranging of the silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus). . Unpublished manuscript submitted to Madagascar National Parks: 23.

Patel, E. R. 2012. Acoustic and olfactory communication in eastern sifakas (Propithecus sp.) and rhesus macaques (Macaca mullata). . Cornell University.

Patel, E. R., Meyers, D. and Hawkins, F. 2007. Silky Sifaka, Propithecus candidus, 1871. Primate Conservation 22: 1-40.

Rasolofoson, D., G. Rakotondratsimba, O. Rakotonirainy, L. M. A. Rakotozafy, J. H. Ratsimbazafy, L. Rabetafika and R. M. Randrianarison. 2007. ). Influence of human pressure on lemur groups on the Makira Plateau, Maroantsetra, Madagascar. . Madagascar Conservation and Development 2: 21–27.

Ratelolahy, F. J. and F. M. J. Raivoarisoa. 2007. Distribution et statut de population de Propithèque Soyeux (Propithecus candidus) dans la forêt de Makira, région d’Anjanaharibe, Nord Est de Madagascar. Report, Wildlife Conservation Society, Antananarivo..

Schmid, J. and R. Smolker. 1998. Lemurs of the Reserve Speciale d’Anjanaharibe-Sud, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology 90: 227–240.

Sterling, E. J. and Mcfadden, K. 2000. Rapid census of lemur populations in the Parc National de Marojejy, Madagascar. Fieldiana: Zoology 97: 265-274.


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 candidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 October 2014.
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