Spatio-temporal Change in Crowned (Propithecus coronatus) and Decken’s Sifaka (Propithecus deckenii) Habitat in the Mahavavy-Kinkony Wetland Complex, Madagascar.

Rado H. Andriamasimanana, Alison Cameron

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The crowned sifaka (Propithecus coronatus) and Decken’s sifaka (Propithecus deckenii) are Endangered lemurs endemic to west and central Madagascar. Both have suffered habitat loss and fragmentation throughout their ranges. The goal
of this study, conducted in the Mahavavy-Kinkony Wetland Complex (MKWC) in northwestern Madagascar, was to assess the effects of historical change in the species’ habitats, and to model the potential impact of further land-use change on their habitats. The IDRISI Andes Geographical Information System and image-processing software was used for satellite-image classifiation, and the Land Change Modeler was used to compare the natural habitat of the species from 1973 to 2005, and to predict available habitat for 2050. We analyzed two forests in the MKWC occupied by P. coronatus (Antsilaiza and Anjohibe), and three forests occupied by P. deckenii (Tsiombikibo, Marofandroboka and Andohaomby). The two forests occupied by P. coronatus contracted during the period 1949–1973, but then expanded to exceed their 1949 area by 28% in 2005. However, the land change model predicted that they will contract again to match their 1949 area by 2050, and will again lose their corridor connection, meaning that the conservation gains for this species in the complex are at risk of being reversed. The three forests occupied by P. deckenii have declined in area steadily since 1949, losing 20% of their original area by 2005, and are predicted to lose a further 15% of their original area by 2050. Both species are therefore at risk of becoming even more threatened if land-use change continues within the complex. Improved conservation of the remaining forest is recommended to avoid further loss, as well as ecological restoration and reforestation to promote connectivity between the forests. A new strategy for controlling agriculture and forest use is required in order to avoid further destruction of the forest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalPrimate Conservation
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Propithecus coronatus
  • conservation
  • prediction,
  • fragmentation
  • deforestation
  • threats
  • Propithecus deckenii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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