Got moves? Verreaux’s Sifaka, Madagascar

Got moves?  Verreaux’s Sifaka, Madagascar


Verreaux’s Sifakas make for great photographic subjects. Not only because they are strange and cute but also due to their “dancing” skills. Any photographer visiting Madagascar wants to get a shot of them in action.

Recently these engaging creatures have been reclassified as “Endangered” (IUCN Red List). This is because of a 50% decline in their population in around 50 years (3 generations). The main threat is habitat loss, which is a serious issue across Madagascar. The threats to the specific habitat preferred by the Verreaux’s Sifakas are logging, slash and burn agriculture and charcoal and firewood production. Although it is fady (Malagasy taboo) to kill these animals for many of the Malagasy tribes these animals are still hunted for food by immigrant tribes.

Tourism is helping to preserve some pockets of land acting as the last stronghold for many species.

The Verreaux’s Sifakas are incredibly adapted to their environment which is mostly dry forest, which tends to be very arid in Madagascar. They are even able to live without water during a drought. They get all the moisture they need from the bark and succulent leaves of the cactus-like plants found in their habitat. They might also lick dew off the plants that they feed on.

Tech Specs: Canon 7D | Canon 300 f2.8L IS II USM | f4.5 | 1/2500 | ISO 400