Saving Perrier´s Sifaka in Madagascar
Madagascar is known for its wealth of species that can only be found on that island. The Perrier´s sifaka (Propithecus perrierri), one of the most threatened primates of the world, belongs to this species.
Its total population consists of few hundred animals. This settled the lemur on the upper range position of the IUCN Red List. The Perrier´s sifaka is mainly threatened due to the destruction of its habitat, the tropical dry lowland forest in northern Madagascar. Its population today is spilt up into small groups in spacious distributed areas without any contact between these groups. Thereby the possibility of reproduction is extremely limited. Furthermore it is assumed that about a quarter of these animals live in areas without any protection and therefore is rather threatened by poaching.
The conservation and research program of the Perrier´s sifaka was started in March 2006 with the gala "La Nuit du Sifaka" in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. The patron of this program, H.S.H. Albert II Prince of Monaco, and other well known personalities took part in this event and therewith paid tribute to the importance of this program.
The main aim of the conservation program is to put the present Perrier´s sifaka habitat under effective protection. The team works on a conservation area plan for the Madagascan government and later will try to achieve this aim. It will also sensitise the local people to the protection of species and the environment.
The project implicates the help of many partners: beside the Stiftung Artenschutz, the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP), Allwetterzoo Münster, the Principality of Monaco, Zoo Mulhouse (France), Conservation International / Margot Marsh Foundation (USA), Fanamby (Madagascar) as well as private donators support the conservation activities in Madagascar. The foundation Act for Nature takes the lead in coordinating the project in collaboration with the Groupe d'Etude et de Recherche des Primates de Madagascar (GERP).
In order to ensure the survival of the Perrier´s sifaka in the long term, the habitat protection is connected to the improvement of the living conditions of the local people. The more jobs are linked to the Perrier´s sifaka´s welfare, the stronger the people will be committed to protect the animals. Furthermore reforestation with fructiferous tress shall built corridors to bring the isolated sifaka populations together. Beside the immediate protective measures, the conservation plan includes studies of the animals' feeding habit. Therefore a research station will be built and will act as base for all conservation activities in that region. Other conservation programs in northern Madagascar, too, will be managed from this station.