Females occasionally take priority over males during feeding. Sifakas live in family groups of three to ten individuals and travel together about a half-mile per day. The sifaka of Madagascar are distinguished from other lemurs by their mode of locomotion: these animals maintain a distinctly vertical posture and … The Silky sifakas are endemic to Madagascar. All sifakas are threatened by the destruction of their forest habitats. WATCH: Could Vaccines Help Save Endangered Lemurs? [4] Like all lemurs, they are found only on the island of Madagascar. Their round, hairless face is always black. Coquerel's sifaka was once considered to be a subspecies of Verreaux's sifaka, but was eventually granted full species level, and is listed as endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. Local Malagasy people named them for the unique call they send echoing through Madagascar's forests, which sounds like shif-auk. All species of sifakas are threatened, ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered. Successful invasions are known to result in death of male members, group takeover, and infanticide. Sifakas are beautifully colored. The natural range of these animals covers a tiny area of the island, extending from Marojejy southwards to Makira and the Antainambalana River. [7], Sifakas are herbivores, eating leaves, flowers, and fruits. [5], Sifakas are medium-sized indrids with a head and body length of 40 to 55 cm (16 to 22 in) and a weight of 3 to 6 kg (6.6 to 13.2 lb). Vegetarian and active during the day, sifakas live in small family groups; females are dominant to males. Though they defend their territory from invasion by others of their species, they may peacefully co-exist with other lemur species such as the red-bellied lemur and the common brown lemur. Sifakas eat about a hundred different varieties of plants and spend their days searching for food. However, they have been known to attack by biting and scratching and have even been witnessed fighting off a Madagascar ground boa. Young are weaned after about six months and reach full maturity at the age of two to three years. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/sifakas.html. The silky sifaka has a variable social structure, and lives in groups of two to nine individuals. They may have different colored limbs and bodies, and often their heads are multicolored with patches of black, white, gray, or golden-colored fur. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- They use scents to mark their territory, but home ranges often overlap. It is believed that only one female from each group breeds, while males may move from group to group. [6] Sifakas are diurnal and arboreal. [10], A four- to five-month gestation period ends with the birth of a single offspring in July. In this way, they clear distances of over 30 feet. Sifakas live in small family groups of three to ten animals. When not searching for food, they spend a good part of the day sunbathing, stretched on the branches. All rights reserved. Edges of different sifaka territories can overlap. [11], International Union for Conservation of Nature, "Mammals – full taxonomy and Red List status", "Birth season glucocorticoids are related to the presence of infants in sifaka (, "Descriptions and articles about the Coquerel's Sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) - Encyclopedia of Life", "Bring it on: Sifaka lemurs take down a three-metre boa in Madagascar | predator-vs-prey | Earth Touch News", "Craniodental characters in the taxonomy of, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sifaka&oldid=987481904, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2010, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 November 2020, at 09:57. Sifakas live in small family groups of three to ten animals. Although food is scarce, these primates manage to use their nimble snouts to pick leaves from between the spines of octopus trees and other dry weather plants. The life expectancy of the sifakas is up to 20 years. These lemurs are generally found in montane and mid-altitude rainforest habitat.