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Primate Conservation

Coordinators:  Dean Anderson and Nancy Ruggeri, Department of Zoology,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The World's Top 25 Most Endangered Primates- 2002

A recent report released by Conservation International (CI) and the Primate Specialist
Group of IUCN was finalized at the 2002 International Primatological Society meetings
in Beijing. It is a revision of their previously released "The World's Top 25 most Endangered Primates",
which indicates that about one out of every three primate species is currently
threatened with extinction.  This updated version suggests that Indonesia now exceeds
Madagascar and Brazil for the country with the most endangered primates.  However,
Madagascar, identified as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, has 10 critically endangered
species, and 21 endangered species.  For the full report, please refer to the link at the bottom
of this message.

Each week, we will be featuring one of the 25 primate species in peril.  This is being
done in conjunction with Conservation International.  The fact sheets are compiled by
Sean Flannery at the WPRC Library and Information Service.

Perrier's Sifaka (Propithecus perrieri)

Photo Link:

The all-black Perrier's sifaka is known to inhabit a relatively small area of dry forests in 
extreme northern Madagascar, where it receives protection in only two special reserves, 
Analamera and Ankarana, but its continued presence in the second is questionable. Very 
little is known about this lemur's habits in the wild, except that it occurs in small groups 
of from two to six individuals which range over an area of up to 30 hectares (almost 75 
acres), and it eats a variety of leaves, unripe fruit, stems and flowers. Like much of 
Madagascar's wildlife, Perrier's sifaka is threatened by slash-and-burn agriculture or tavy, 
timber-cutting for charcoal production, fire to clear pasture for livestock and, most 
recently, small-scale mining for gemstones. This may very well be the rarest, least 
studied and most endangered of all Madagascar's sifakas. The last published study of 
wild populations was one done by primatologists Mireya Mayor and Shawn Lehman 
from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1998 with support from 
Conservation International. While it is locally taboo or fady to hunt this species within its 
restricted range, old beliefs are yielding to new ones and putting larger-bodied lemurs 
such as this one at greater risk.

Relevant Citations:

Groves, CP.  Primate Taxonomy.  Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 2001

Mayor, M and Lehman, SM.  
Conservation of Perrier's sifaka (Propithecus diadma perrieri) in Analamera Special Reserve, Madagascar.
Lemur News (4): 21-23.  1999.  

Fact Sheet:

The full report is available at:
Full report
Topics in Primate Conservation is supported by a grant RR00167,
Regional Primate Centers Program, National Center for Research
Resources, The National Institutes of Health.

Posted Date: 11-25-02