The golden-crowned sifaka or Tattersall’s sifaka, scientific name Propithecus tattersalli is a medium-sized lemur characterized by largely white fur, distinguished furry ears, and a golden-orange crown.
Golden Crowned Sifaka profile
It is among the smallest sifakas (genus Propithecus), weighing around 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) and measuring approximately 90 cm (35 in) from head to tail.
Geographic range and habitat
The golden-crowned sifaka lives in the dry deciduous, gallery, and semi-evergreen forests and is discovered at altitudes as much as 500 m (1,640 ft), although it appears to favor lower elevations.
Surveys have proven it to be restricted to highly fragmented forests surrounding the town of Daraina in a space encircled by the Loky and Manambato rivers in northeastern Madagascar.
The golden-crowned sifaka has one of many smallest geographic ranges of all indriid lemur species.
Out of 75 forest fragments studied by researchers, its presence may very well be definitively reported in solely 44, totaling 44,125 ha (109,040 acres; 170.37 sq mi).
This examination, printed in 2002, additionally estimated the full species inhabitants and observed population densities.
Home vary size diversified between 0.18 and 0.29 km2 (0.069 and 0.112 sq mi) per group. With a mean group dimension of 5 people, the inhabitant’s density ranged between 17 and 28 people per km2.
One other home range size estimate of 0.09 to 0.12 km2 (0.035 to 0.046 sq mi) has additionally been advised with an inhabitants density vary of 10 and 23 individuals per km2.
The forested space obtainable to the species inside its desired elevation vary was estimated at 360 km2 (140 sq mi), yielding an estimated population of 6,120–10,080 and breeding inhabitants between 2,520 and three,960 individuals.
Nevertheless, a study published in 2010 utilizing line transect knowledge from 2006 and 2008 in 5 main forest fragments yielded estimated inhabitants of 18,000 individuals.
Golden Crowned Sifaka Description
The golden-crowned sifaka is among the smallest sifaka species with a weight of 3.4 to 3.6 kg (7.5 to 7.9 lb), a head-body size of 45 to 47 cm (18 to 19 in), a tail size of 42 to 47 cm (17 to 19 in), and complete size of 87 to 94 cm (34 to 37 in).
It’s comparable in dimension to the sifakas inhabiting the southern and western dry forests, such as Coquerel’s sifaka, the crowned sifaka, Von der Decken’s sifaka, and Verreaux’s sifaka.
It has a coat of reasonably lengthy, creamy-white fur with a golden tint, darkish black or chocolate-brown fur on its neck and throat, pale orange fur on the tops of its legs and forelimbs, a white tail and hindlimbs, and an attribute shiny orange-gold crown.
It’s the sole sifaka with distinguished tufts of white fur protruding from its ears, making its head seem considerably triangular and distinctive in look.
Its eyes are orange, and its face is black and largely hairless, with darkish gray-black fur with white hair stretching from beneath the eyes to the cheeks.
Its snout is blunt and rounded, and its broad nose helps to distinguish it from different sifakas. Sometimes the bridge of the nostril may have a patch of white fur.
Similar to different sifakas, this arboreal animal has long, sturdy legs that allow it to cling and leap between tree trunks and branches.
Golden Crowned Sifaka Behavior
The golden-crowned sifaka is primarily energetic during the day (diurnal), however, researchers have witnessed activity within the early morning and night (crepuscular) through the rainy season (November by way of April).
In captivity, it has been noticed feeding at night, in contrast to captive Verreaux’s sifakas. It travels between 461.7 and 1,077 m (1,515 and 3,533 ft) per day, an intermediate vary in comparison with different sifakas of the jap forests.
The golden-crowned sifaka will be noticed feeding and resting greater within the cover through the dry season (May through October).
It sleeps within the taller trees (the emergent layer) of the forest at night.
When confused, the golden-crowned sifaka emits grunting vocalizations in addition to repeated “churrs” that escalate right into a high-amplitude “whinney.”
Its floor predator alarm name, which feels like “shē-fäk”, intently resembles that of Verreaux’s sifaka. It additionally emits mobbing alarm calls in response to birds of prey.
Golden Crowned Sifaka Diet
The diet of the golden-crowned sifaka consists of all kinds of vegetation—as many as 80 species—whose availability varies primarily based on the season.
It’s a seed predator, making seeds a year-round staple in its diet when available. The golden-crowned sifaka additionally eats unripe fruits, flowers, and leaves.
One examination confirmed a diet composition of 37% unripe fruit and seeds, 22% immature leaves, 17% mature leaves, 13% flowers, and 9% fruit pulp.
People have additionally been observed consuming tree bark through the dry season.
In general, roughly 60% of its diet consists of unripe fruits and seed, primarily from leguminous pods, and fewer than 50% consists of leaves.
Golden Crowned Sifaka Reproduction
The golden-crowned sifaka is a seasonal breeder, usually mating over the last week of January. Its gestation interval is a little less than six months, and its lactation period is 5 months.
Analysis has indicated that reproduction is strategically linked with forest seasonality.
Gestation begins within the later a part of the wet season (late January) and continues for about 170 days. Parturition occurs in the course of the dry season (late June or July).
Weaning happens through the center of the moist season, in December when an abundance of immature leaves is available.
It’s thought that such reproductive timing exists to insure ample protein intake from the immature leaves for each mom and baby on the finish of the lactation period.
Females reproduce as soon as every two years. Infants are born with little hair and initially cling to their mother’s stomach.
As they mature, they start to trip on her back. Following weaning, driving on the again is just tolerated for brief durations, notably when the group is alerted to the presence of a predator.
By one year of age, the juveniles are 70% of their full grownup body weight. Infant mortality is excessive on this species.
Upon reaching sexual maturity, males go away their natal group and switch to neighboring social teams.
Observations by researchers and stories from native individuals point out that this species will bounce to the ground and cross greater than 200 m (660 ft) of grassland to reach close by forest patches.
This suggests that forest fragmentation may not utterly isolate separated populations.