One of the rarest primates on Earth is the Golden Crowned Sifaka. This lemur was discovered in 1982 in northeast Madagascar. It was fully described by scientists in 1988. This particular subspecies can only be found in northeast Madagascar, between the Manambato and Loky Rivers.
IMAGE:© Last Refuge/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis
The Golden Crowned Sifaka lemur is confined to a tiny area of hillside rainforest in this location. There are only ten forest patches left containing this subspecies, according to IUCN. This has placed it on the critically endangered list.
The Golden Crowned Sifaka lemur's Latin name is Propithecus tattersalli and it is the size of a house cat, measuring up to 50 centimetres long and weighing about 3 kilograms. It has large furry ears, white or honey coloured fur, light coloured underbelly, long tail, black face, large golden eyes, and a dark gold coloured crown.
This Sifaka moves in groups, called troops, of three to ten, usually consisting of 2 adults of each sex, but only one female in the troop produces offspring each year. Each pair is monogamous. They are diurnal (daytime) and the females are the dominants in each troop.
Their food is mostly conifer tree foliage, with the addition of some flowers, seeds, and barks. Their habitat is being destroyed due to logging and redevelopment for farmland.
The females are mature at 1642 days old, and their gestation period is about 165 days. The young's weight at birth is about .098kg, and they are weaned at about 155 days old. The Golden Crowned Sifaka lemur lives up to 20 years if undisturbed.
These lemurs are graceful, gentle, and have a variety of calls. Their hind legs are longer for leaping, and they swing from tree to tree using their forepaws, hind paws and tail. They are poached for food by outsiders, but are taboo according to locals.
The ICUN has listed this subspecies as critically endangered.