The Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus), found only in northeastern Madagascar, is a large lemur that is one of the rarest of all mammals, threatened in its limited range by both habitat destruction and hunting.
image caption: Propithecus diadema, sericeus variety (A. Milne Edwards and A. Grandidier), discovered by Mr. Guinet around Sambava (NE coast of Madagascar)… The white spots which are marked on the muzzle vary in a number and size according to the individual.
from L’Histoire Physique, Naturelle et Politique de Madagascar, planche II, Vol. XX, 1892, by Alfred Grandidier
Ninety percent of the plants and animals found on the island of Madagascar evolved there and nowhere else. All of the country’s 70-plus species of lemur—including this sifaka—are considered endangered. To help protect them and other unique species, the government has set aside more than nine million acres (3.7 million hectares) of land.
These strange creatures leap from spine covered tree to spine covered tree. Their technique is amazing as they are able to leap from tall tree trunks to land safely and securely, even with babies - if they can avoid their four footed predator, the Fossa.
Propithecusis a genus of diurnal lemurs in the family Indriidae commonly known as sifakas (shi-fok), named for the sound of their calls. They’re herbivorous, eating leaves, flowers, and fruit. Sifakas are arboreal animals, hopping from tree to tree, and are remarkably agile and precise with their leaps. When they aren’t foraging, social groups of up to thirteen individuals sit together sun bathing and grooming one another with their specialized tooth-combs. These social groups are territorial and disputes often lead to the death of males and infanticide. Despite the aggression, they usually tolerate some territorial overlap, and don’t mind sharing territories with other lemur species.
All members of the genus are threatened with extinction.