The silky sifaka is a large lemur characterized by long, silky, white fur. It has a very restricted range in northeastern Madagascar, where it is known locally as the simpona. It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as one of the world’s 25 most critically endangered primates.
About Silky sifaka in brief
The silky sifaka is a large lemur characterized by long, silky, white fur. It has a very restricted range in northeastern Madagascar, where it is known locally as the simpona. It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as one of the world’s 25 most critically endangered primates. The species is only found within a few protected areas in the rainforests of northeastern Madagascar. It consumes mainly leaves and seeds, but also fruit, flowers, and even soil on occasion. Males frequently scent-mark on top of scent marks made by other group members, particularly females. Males also gouge trees with their toothcomb prior to chest scent-marksing. The name’sifaka’ is a reference to a common general alarm vocalization given by western dry forest sifakas in which they emit an explosive, hiss-like \”shee-faak\” call several times in succession. It relies strongly on scent for communication, and only mates one day a year during the start of the rainy season. It lives in groups of two to nine individuals, and spends most of its day feeding and resting, though it also devotes a considerable amount of time to social behaviors, such as playing and grooming, as well as travelling. Females occasionally take priority over males during feeding. As with other lemurs, nonmaternal infant care is common, and both sexes often groom, play with, occasionally carry, and nurse infants that are not their own.
No local fady exists against eating this species. Habitat disturbance, like slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging of precious woods and fuel-wood, also occurs within the protected areas where it was found. The silkySifaka was initially described in 1871 by French naturalist Alfred Grandidier in a formally published letter to French zoologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards. He then named the species Propithecus candidus due to its white color, which he likened to that of Verreaux’s s ifaka, but without the dark fur on its head or the ash-colored spot on the back. The specific name, candidus, is Latin for \”white\”, while the specific name of the taxonomic synonym sericeus is derived from the Greek word for \”silk\”. The first specimen was obtained in 1872 and provided by a Monsieur Guurur Guinet, a planter from Sambava. Upon those findings, they changed the name to P. candidus sericeus. Upon further review, Grandidiers demoted the silky Sifaka to a variety or \”race of the diademed sifka\” by 1931, taking all eastern sifaks into account. By the time of the 1931 German lemur taxonomy, the original name had become a synonym for the original species, Propitheus candidus. The current name is P. sericeUS.