Summary

The five eastern sifakas have until recently been poorly studied relative to their western congeners. However, several surveys and long-term studies, starting with Wright's study of P. edwardsi in the mid-1980s, have taken great strides to even the playing field. Eastern sifakas share many similarities with western P. verreauxi, but differ in their larger body mass, lower population density, and larger home ranges (in rainforest taxa). Many aspects of Propithecus ecology, social organization, and behavior remain enigmatic, not fitting well into theory developed for anthropoid primates and even set apart from other lemur taxa. Continuing research is necessary to understand the causes and consequences of these aspects of sifaka life and, perhaps more importantly, to adequately protect their dwindling populations in the face of drastic habitat loss and fragmentation.

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