Diademed Sifakas (critically endangered)
We clambered off the main track in the Ranomafana Forest, heading down the steep bank. My guide kept a fast pace as we headed towards where the Diademed Sifakas were last seen. We were upon them in minutes, a few of them, high in the trees. They moved quickly while feeding, jumping from tree to tree. It took everything I had to keep up with them, through the forest, dodging branches, climbing over fallen trunks, using trees as leverage to keep my balance in the steep terrain. My camera harness certainly came in handy, keeping my hands free. I was looking for a clean shot of the Sifaka, challenging as the forest was dense, with many branches blocking my view. Finally there was a clearing, and there it was, the stunningly beautiful Diademed Sifaka. I hit the shutter several times, happy to get the shot. What an absolute privilege to be witness to such a beautiful animal, and to be able to capture it on camera for others to experience.
The Diademed Sifakas are one of the largest species of lemur. When it feels threatened, it makes a warning call that sounds like a ‘kiss-sneeze’. It uses this warning call to alert its social group, or the predator itself which include Fosa and Nile crocodiles.
Diademed Sifakas are classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, and is listed in CITES Appendix I. As of 2002, population estimates for the species range between 6,000 and 10,000 individuals. The primary threat is habitat reduction due to shifting cultivation by native people.
If you would like the opportunity of seeing beautiful and sometimes endangered species like this Diademed Sifaka, join us on our Wide Eyed and Bushy Tailed Safari in Madagascar in October 2020. We only have a few spots left on this tour.
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