Sifaka

First Sifaka of the Year for Duke Lemur Center

__dlc-ayeaye.win.duke.edu_lemur-center_home_dharing_Animal Photos 4-05_animal photographs_coquerel's sifakas_2015 infants__ pc 7199_DSC2776EDThe Duke Lemur Center announces their first birth of 2015. Lupicina, a female Coquerel’s Sifaka, was born on January 8.

__dlc-ayeaye.win.duke.edu_lemur-center_home_dharing_Animal Photos 4-05_animal photographs_coquerel's sifakas_2015 infants__ pc 7199 6985_DSC2733
__dlc-ayeaye.win.duke.edu_lemur-center_home_dharing_Animal Photos 4-05_animal photographs_coquerel's sifakas_2015 infants__ pc6843 6985 7199_DSC

__dlc-ayeaye.win.duke.edu_lemur-center_home_dharing_Animal Photos 4-05_animal photographs_coquerel's sifakas_2015 infants__ pc 7199 6985_DSC2962Photo Credit David Haring/Duke Lemur Center

Lupicina’s parents are female Euphemia and male Lucius Verus.  She weighed less than a quarter-pound at birth (about 103 g) and is doing well under Euphemia’s care.  Lucius Verus and the baby’s uncle Thrax are gradually being introduced to mom and baby.

Found only in Madagascar, Coquerel’s Sifakas are a type of Lemur.  They are most well known for their unusual method of locomotion called vertical clinging and leaping.  While in a vertical posture, they leap up to 20 feet through the trees using only the power of their back legs, not their arms.  On the ground, they hop sideways on their back feet while standing erect.

Sifakas are named for their distinctive “shif-auk” call they make while moving through the treetops.  In the forest, they feed on young leaves, fruit, tree bark, and flowers, and have been recorded foraging on 98 different plant species.

Highly social, Sifakas live in groups of three to 10 animals.  The Sifaka colony at the Duke Lemur Center has produced more young than any other colony in the world.  About half of the Center’s 60 Sifiakas live at zoos around the United States. In Madagascar, Sifaka populations have declined by half in the last 50 years, primarily due to habitat destruction and hunting pressures.  They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Houston Zoo Staff Expert at Weighing New Baby Sifaka

Lemur 1

The Houston Zoo welcomed a rare baby Coquerel's Sifaka, born on January 28 to mother Zenobia and father Gaius. The baby weighed only 3.4 ounces (96 grams) at birth, and staff have been paying close attention to be sure it is nursing well and staying healthy. The goal is for it to reach about 7-8 pounds in adulthood. Houston Zoo Keepers have studied Sifakas in depth and learned that the key to preventing infant mortality was directly related to its steady weight gain. 

For the next three to four weeks, the infant will cling to its mother's belly for warmth and access to nutrition. Babies can decline in weight easily and weaken their grip on Mom’s fur as they lose strength. To prevent this, Keepers know to intervene if even a few grams are lost. That means Zoo vets must weigh the baby regularly and give needed fluids if necessary. In a quick and simple process, a decline can be reversed and the baby goes right back to mom. Then, for three to four months more, it will switch to riding on her back. 

Sifaka nurse

Sifaka weigh

 Photo Credit: Photo 1,Tina Carpenter/Houston Zoo, Photos 2,3,4,5: Stephanie Adams

Sifakas are from the Lemur family and are classified as Endangered in the wild. The species is from Madagascar, where deforestation has been getting worse every year and therefore poses a threat to their habitat, and thus their survival.

Read more about the weighing process and see more pictures after the fold:

Continue reading "Houston Zoo Staff Expert at Weighing New Baby Sifaka" »


Hold On Tight, Baby Sifaka!

Beatrice1

Meet Beatrice of Swabia, the newest addition to a noble line of Coquerel’s Sifakas at Duke Lemur Center. She has a close-knit family: a five-year-old mother, Rodelinda, an eight-year-old father, Marcus, and an older sister, 23 month-old Bertha of Sulzbach. (Duke Lemur Center is certainly proud of their Sifakas: the whole family is named after Roman Emperors.)

Beatrice4
Photo credits: David Haring / Duke Lemur Center

Beatrice of Swbabia—Beatrice for short—is a healthy little heir. She weighed a respectable 107 grams at her birth on December 19th, and has since been growing in leaps and bounds.  She clings tightly to her mother, another sign of good health, but also spends some time with her father and sister who hold and groom the new baby.

Sifakas are named for their distinctive “shif-auk!” call.  They are known for their graceful sideways leaping across the ground, a dance that they share with ten other diurnal members of the lemur family Indriidae.

 

“Sifakas are really one of the Lemur Center’s flagship species,” says Andrea Katz, the Duke Lemur Center animal curator. The Duke Lemur Center was the first to ever successfully breed Sifakas. Only 56 Coquerel’s sifakas live in captivity. The Lemur Center owns every single one and manages them either on-site or through cooperative breeding loans with 9 other institutions across the United States. 

“We’ve learned a lot over the years about sifaka behavior, breeding behavior, mother-infant behavior… I think it’s fair to say that the Lemur Center is really viewed as the expert on Sifaka breeding management.”

Take a leap across the fold!

Continue reading "Hold On Tight, Baby Sifaka!" »


Baby Sifaka Hitches a Ride on Mom

CU

It's a girl! A baby Coquerel’s Sifaka (pronounced Cahk-ker-rells she-fahk), an endangered lemur species from Madagascar, was born at the St. Louis Zoo’s Primate House on January 16. For about a month the baby held onto mom's belly, but has recently "graduated" to riding on her back. This is the third offspring for mother, Almirena, age 9, from the Los Angeles Zoo, and father Caligula, age 13, from Duke Lemur Center. The baby will be named by the primate staff at a later date.

Lemurs are a group of primates that are found in the wild only in Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world. The other primates, monkeys and apes, never reached the island. Without their competitive cousins, lemurs adapted to live in the varied habitats found in Madagascar.

Like many other types of lemurs, the Coquerel's Sifaka is in danger of extinction in the wild. These animals suffer from continued habitat loss, as their forest homes are logged for timber and turned into farmland.

Riding mom

2

Baby
Photo Credits: Ray Meibaum/Saint Louis Zoo

Read more about lemurs after the "hop"...

Continue reading "Baby Sifaka Hitches a Ride on Mom" »


Baby Crowned Sifaka Brings Hope and Joy

Sifaka belfast 2 CU

Born on January 15, 2011, baby Echo, a crowned sifaka, has staff at the Belfast Zoo jumping for joy! Keepers decided to call the baby Echo, as without successful breeding programmes this species will become nothing more than an echo of the past! 

Crowned sifakas are critically endangered in the wild with numbers so low that exact figures are unknown. There are only approximately twenty crowned sifakas in zoos across the world and with infant mortality rates currently at 80%, staff at Belfast Zoo are ecstatic with the new arrival and his progress. Parents Linoa and Andry are the last breeding pair of crowned sifakas in the British Isles and Belfast Zoo’s group is extra special as they are on loan from the Madagascan government. Echo’s birth now brings Belfast Zoo’s group total to five. 

Sifaka belfast 3 web

Sifaka belfast 1 web

“We were all very anxious in the first couple of weeks after Echo’s birth”, explains zoo curator, Julie Mansell. “When we discovered that Linoa was pregnant we were filled with both excitement and apprehension. We all know that the statistics are against us, but Echo is doing very well.”

Zoo manager, Mark Challis is thrilled, saying, “I am very proud of the zoo... All the hard work has certainly paid off. This achievement is colossal and let’s hope that it is an achievement that we can repeat in the future."

The crowned sifaka is a type of lemur, a group of primates found only in Madagascar.  Sifakas are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as they believe Sifakas face a very high risk of extinction in the wild.


Rare Gremlin-like Sifaka Lemur Born at Maryland Zoo!

Maryland-Zoo-Lemur

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is welcoming its newest arrival – a male Coquerel’s Sifaka (CAHK-ker-rells she-FAHK) baby born on Tuesday, February 15, 2011.  “This is a highly significant birth for the Sifaka population in North America,” stated Mike McClure, general curator.  “There are only eight accredited zoos that house the 50 Coquerel’s Sifaka in the U.S. and this tiny baby represents 2% of the total captive population in the country.”

Maryland-Zoo-Lemur2
Photo and video credits: Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo’s Sifaka pair, Anastasia, age 7 and Gratian, age 8 are the first time parents of baby Otto, which was born sometime between 9:00 am and 10:00 am on February 15.  His birth weight was 100 grams, which falls in the average birth weights range of 85-115 g. “For comparison’s sake, 100 grams is just about the weight of a deck of cards,” said Meredith Wagoner, mammal collection and conservation manager at the Zoo.  “Sifaka are born almost hairless and resemble tiny bald gremlins, however their white hair soon grows in and they begin to resemble their parents.”

Continue reading "Rare Gremlin-like Sifaka Lemur Born at Maryland Zoo!" »


Rare Baby Sifaka Hangs on Tight to Mom

Sifaka_EthanRiepl_SaintLouisZoo

A baby Coquerel’s Sifaka (CAHK-ker-rells she-FAHK), an endangered Lemur species from Madagascar, was born at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House on January 9, 2011. This is the third baby for mother, Almirena (al-mah-REE-nah), age eight, from the Los Angeles Zoo, and father Caligula, age 12, from Duke Lemur Center. Almirena is a great mother and the newborn is very strong, according to zookeepers. For about a month, the baby held onto mom's belly, but has recently "graduated" to riding on her back. Zookeepers are observing the infant and mother every day, and a name will be chosen once it can be determined if it’s a male or female.

Sifaka3_EthanRiepl_Saint-Louis-Zoo

Sifaka2_EthanRiepl_SaintLouisZoo
Photo credits: Ethan Riepl/ St. Louis Zoo

Continue reading "Rare Baby Sifaka Hangs on Tight to Mom" »


Baby Sifaka Bounces into the Bronx Zoo

Meet Ares, a brand new baby Coquerel's sifaka at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo. Like all lemurs, Coquerel's sifaka is native only to the island of Madagascar where they are endangered due to habitat destruction. With the birth of Ares, the total population of Coquerel's sifakas in accredited zoos rises to 51.

Coquerels sifaka baby bronx zoo 1

Coquerels sifaka baby bronx zoo 2Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS's Bronx Zoo

Continue reading "Baby Sifaka Bounces into the Bronx Zoo" »


Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

In June the Bronx Zoo welcomed a happy and healthy baby Coquerel's Sifaka Lemur and these pictures were taken in July. Sifakas get their name from their unmistakable "shih-fak" alarm call which starts as a low growl and ends with a loud and abrupt "fak" that can be described as a shrill hiccup.

Sifaka lemur baby 1 rs

Sifaka lemur baby 2 rs
Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher / Wildlife Conservation Society

Frolicking!

Video credit: Luke Groskin / Wildlife Conservation Society