Feature Image

Propithecus coquereli | Sifaka de Coquerel

October 5, 2015. Life / The IUCN Red List

What we do not know about the lemur of Madagascar

Lemurs of Madagascar – comprising 105 species and subspecies– are this island country’s greatest icon. Likewise, they are emblematic for their remarkable diversity.

Jane Smart, Craig Hilton-Taylor, Russel A. Mittermeier.

Coquerel’s sifaka: Endangered (The IUCN Red List)

The lemur of Madagascar, or Coquerel’s sifaka, lives in a restricted area of northwestern Madagascar and faces endangerment because of habitat destruction and hunting. The primate represents one of nine sifaka species, all of which are either endangered or critically endangered. These beautiful and highly distinctive creatures are members of the Indriidae family, the largest of the living lemurs, which also includes the indri and the woolly lemurs. These animals move by leaping from tree trunk to tree trunk in an upright position.

The lemurs of Madagascar have long been a focus of attention by the Red List, and there have been several Red Book publications and action plans focused entirely on lemurs.

In the most recent Red-listing Workshop for these primates, which took place in July 2012, fully 93 percent emerged as threatened, the highest percentage for any group of vertebrates assessed thus far. Of these, twenty-four species (23 percent) were considered critically endangered and forty-nine (48 percent) endangered. These recent results indicate that Madagascar’s lemurs represent the world’s highest priority for primate conservation.

This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book The IUCN Red List (2014).


The IUCN Red List

50 Years of Conservation

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