Propithecus tattersalli | Tattersall's Sifaka 

 

Good spot: Daraina town, Madagascar

Primatology

 

Taxonomy & Occurrence

Propithecus tattersalli is a monotypic species. Its geographic range is restricted to north-eastern Madagascar between the Loky River in the north and Manambato River in the south. Most of its limited habitat is degraded and fragmented. This species is named after Ian Tattersall, a paleoanthropologist who has studied lemurs extensively, after he discovered these sifakas north of Vohémar.

 

IUCN Conservation Status

Critically Endangered

 

This species is vulnerable to the threat of mining in the area, a practice which has seen an increase in the local human population, including those who may not adhere to local taboos against hunting the animal [1].

Also known as the Golden-crowned Sifaka, or Akomba Malandy in Malagasy

© Luke Martin

Daraina town, Madagascar

Seeing this Species

 

Sifakas (Propithecus) are the largest extant lemurs. Tattersall's Sifakas are creamy-white, with prominent ear tufts and golden cap (giving it its other English name: Golden-crowned Sifaka) [2]. It is the only sifaka within its range, and so cannot be confused with any other lemurs.

 

Daraina, Madagascar 

Daraina is a remote town in north-eastern Madagascar. Access may prove impossible in the wet season (November-April) due to the poor road conditions. Even in the dry season, the drive from Vohémar on the coast can take upwards to 5 hours, despite being just over 50 kilometres away! Daraina is the gateway to the Loky-Manambato Protected Area, which is managed by Malagasy NGO FANAMBY. FANAMBY has a small office in the town centre and have established basic facilities in the nearby forest. Ask around for a guide - although the arrival of tourists in town means they will likely find you first! The sifakas are quite easily seen, and appear accustomed to the presence of humans (unfortunately due to the proliferation of gold mining in this region).

 

Probability of success: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◇

 

Overlapping species: Aye-aye (possibly), Crowned Lemur, Daraina Sportive Lemur, Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur, and Sanford's Brown Lemur. Forked-crowned Lemur (Phaner) have been reported.

 

Other sites:

Loky-Manambato Protected Area

This protected area is a couple of kilometres from Daraina town.

 

Overlapping species: Aye-aye, Daraina Sportive Lemur, and Forked-crowned Lemur (Phaner)

 

Local contacts: The NGO FANAMBY is able to help arrange for guides.

         

Landscape view from Daraina

© Luke Martin

Daraina

Mining in the area

© Luke Martin

Daraina

References

[1] Vargas A., Jiménez I., Palomares F. & Palacios M.J., 2002. .Distribution, status, and conservation needs of the golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli). Biological Conservation 108(3): 325-334.

[2] Mittermeier R.A., Louis Jr E.E., Richardson M., Schwitzer C., Langrand O., Rylands A.B., Hawkins F. et al., 2010. Lemurs of Madagascar (3rd ed.). Tropical Field Guide Series. Conservation International, Arlington, VA.

 

Contributed by Luke Martin

 

Page Last Updated: 26 March 2018

 

 

 

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