Traditional uses of the plants consumed by Propithecus deckenii (Peters, 1870) in Mandrozo Protected Area, western Madagascar

Seraphin Fabrice, Heritiana Josoa Randriamanantena, Tsiresy Maminiaina Razafimanantsoa, Lucas Harison Andrianarijaona, Lily-Arison Rene de Roland, Marius Paul Hubert Rakotondratsima, Gilbert Razafimanjato


This study focused on the diet of Decken’s sifaka (Propithecus deckenii) and was carried out in Mandrozo Protected Area (MPA), in western Madagascar. The main objective was to identify the plants consumed by sifakas and their traditional uses by the local people within and surrounding MPA. For this purpose, we observed and recorded the feeding behavior of four groups of sifakas in two forest fragments (Andapabe and Ampiliravao), during two periods: from March to April 2018 for the wet season and from September to October 2020 for the dry season, using the Focal Animal Sampling method. Sifakas consumed 37 plant species belonging to 20 families and 31 genera and they ate mainly the plant leaves. We found that the sifaka’s diet is more diversified during wet season. We also interviewed 168 local persons from eight villages and recorded their ethnobotanical knowledge on the plant species eaten by sifakas. Local people utilized 70% (n=26) of the plant species eaten by sifakas. Five categories of human uses were recorded: house construction and tools for domestic use, phytotherapy, making of handicrafts, as food sources and traditional culture. Among these, the construction of houses and tools for domestic use and traditional medicine constitute the main mentioned human uses by the queried locals. For the indigenous people, three species of trees: Dalbergia humbertii, Tamarindus indica and Cedrelopsis grevei were used as part of their habits and customs.


Lemur, Sifaka, diet, Ethnobotany, Mandrozo Protected Area

Full Text:



Altmann, J. (1974) Observational study of behavior: sampling methods. Behaviour, 49(3), 227-267.

Begon, M., Harper, J.L., Townsend, C.R. (1990) Ecology: individuals, populations and communities. Blackwell Science Inc, Ltd,2nd edition. Brooklline Village, Boston, USA. 960p.

Brown, M. (2007) The wealth of trees and the pressures of population. Madagascar Conservation & Development, 2(1), 2-3

Bublitz, D.C., Wright, P.C., Rasambainarivo, F.T., Arrigo-Nelson, S.J., Bodager, J.R., Gillespie, T.R. (2014) Pathogenic enterobacteria in lemurs associated with anthropogenic disturbance. American Journal of Primatology, 77(3), 330-337.

Campbell, J.L., Eisemann, J.H., Williams, C.V., Glenn, K.M. (2000) Description of the gastrointestinal tract of five lemur species: Propithecus tattersalli, Propithecus verreauxi coquereli, Varecia variegata, Hapalemur griseus, and Lemur catta. American Journal of Primatology, 52(3), 133-142.<133::AID-AJP2>3.0.CO;2-#

Harpet, C., Jeannoda, V., Hladik, C.M. (2000) Sites à Lémuriens sacrés en pays Sakalava, au nord-ouest de Madagascar : réactualisation des données et implications dans les programmes de développement et de conservation. Revue d’écologie 55(3), 291-295.

Instat (2020) Résultats globaux du Recensement General de la Population et de l’Habitation de 2018 de Madagascar (RGPH-3). Tome 2. Antananarivo, Madagascar. 225 p.

Irwin, M.T. (2007) Living in forest fragments reduces group cohesion in diademed Sifakas (Propithecus diadema) in eastern Madagascar by reducing food patch size. International Journal of Primatology, 69(4), 434-447.

Irwin, M.T. (2008) Feeding Ecology of Propithecus diadema in Forest Fragments and Continuous Forest. International Journal of Primatology, 29, 95-115.

IUCN. (2020) Propithecus deckenii. The IUCN Red list threatened species: accessed in October 2022

Junge, R.E., Barrett, M.A., Yoder, A.D. (2011) Effects of anthropogenic disturbance on Indri (Indri indri) health in Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology, 73 (7), 632-642.

Kaumann, W., Rabarivola, C., Randriatahina, G.H., Schwitzer, C., Schwitzer, N. (2006) "Programme Sahamalaza": New perspectives for the in situ and ex situ study and conservation of the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons) in a fragmented habitat. Pp. 135-149. In: Schwitzer, C., Brandt, S., Ramilijaona, O., Rakotomalala, R.M., Ackermand, D., Razakamanana, T., Ganzhorn, J.U. (editors). Proceedings of the German-Malagasy Research Cooperation in Life and Earth Sciences. Concept Verlag, Berlin, D.

King, T. & Rakotonirina, L. H. F. (2020) Propithecus deckenii, Van der Decken’s Sifaka.The IUCN Red List of Threatned Species. "".

Mittermeier, R. A., Louis, J, E., Richardson, M., Schwitzer, C., Langrand, O., Rylands, A. B., Hawkins,F., Rajaobelina, S., Ratsimbazafy, J., Rasoloarison, R., Roos, C., Kappeler, P. M. & MacKinnon, J. (2010) In Lemurs of Madagascar. 3rd edition. Conservation International Tropical Field Guide Series.Arlington, VA : Conservation International

Norscia, I., Carrai, V., Borgognini-Tarli, S. (2006) Influence of dry season and food quality and quantity on behaviour and feeding strategy of Propithecus verreauxi in Kirindy, Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology, 27(4), 1001-1022.

Primack, R.B. (2002) Essentials of Conservation Biology. 3rd Edition. Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland, U.K.

R Core Team (2019) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.

Rabearivony, J., Thorstrom, R., Rene De Roland, L-A., Rakotondratsima, P.H.M., Andriamalala, T.R.A., Sam, S.T., Razafimanjato, G., Rakotondravony, D., Raselimanana, A.P., Rakotoson, M. (2010) Protected area surface extension in Madagascar: Do endemism and threatened species remain useful criteria for site selection? Madagascar Conservation & Development, 5(1), 35-47.

Račevska, E., Hill, C.M., Longosoa, H.T., Donati, G. (2022) People, Lemurs and Utilitarian Plants of the Littoral Forests in Southeast Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology, 43, 1000-1025.

Rakotoarivelo, N., Razanatsima, A., Rakotoarivony, F., Rasoaviety, L., Ramarosandratana, A.V., Jeannoda, V., Kuhlman, A.R., Randrianasolo, A., Bussmann, R.W. (2014) Ethnobotanical and economic value of Ravenala madagascariensis Sonn. in Eastern Madagascar. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 10, 57.

Rakotondrabe, A.R., Razafindramanana, J., Ratsimbazafy, J., King, T. (2017) Etude du comportement alimentaire et utilisation de l'habitat par Propithecus coronatus dans la forêt galerie d'Amboloando (Commune rurale de Dabolava). Lemur News 20, 30-33

Ramanantsoa, G.A. (1976) Les lémuriens sacrés de Madagascar. Bulletin de l’Académie Malgache, 52(1-2), 153-159

Randriamalala, J.R., Rabeniala, R., Masezamana, H.N. (2017) Effets de la production de charbon de bois sur les fourrés xérophiles, cas du plateau de Belomotse, Madagascar. Madagascar Conservation & Development, 12(1), 7-12.

Randriamanantena, H.J., Razafindraibe, H., Andrianarimisa, A., Benjara, A., Rakotondratsima, P.H.M., Rene de Roland, L.-A. (2023) Comportement de territorialité de Propithecus deckinii dans les Aires Protégées Complexe Tsimembo Manambolomaty et Mandrozo. International Journal of Progressive Sciences and Technologies; 39 (2), pp. 403-415.

Randriamiharisoa, M.N., Kuhlman, A.R., Jeannoda, V., Rabarison, H., Rakotoarivelo, N., Randrianarivony, T., Rakotoarivony, F., Randrianasolo, A., Bussmann, R.W. (2015) Medicinal plants sold in the markets of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 11, 60.

Ratsimbazafy, J., Ramarosandratana, H.V., Zaonarivelo, R.J. (2002) How Do Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs Still Survive in a Highly Disturbed Habitat. Lemur News, 7, 7-10.

Razafimahandry, T. R. 2018. Inventaire des lémuriens diurnes et étude comportementale de Propithecus deckenii (Peters, 1870) dans l’Aire Protégée Mandrozo. Mémoire de Master II. Mention Zoologie et Biodiversité Animale. Université d'Antananarivo. Antananarivo.

Sattler, C., Razafindravao, M. (2017) Les outils novateurs de protection et de valorisation des patrimoines culturels et naturels liés aux plantes médicinales : jardin pédagogique, recueil ethnobotanique et éducation populaire. Ethnopharmacologia, 58, 44-60.

Schwitzer, N., Kaumanns, W., Seitz, P.C., Schwitzer, C. (2007a) Cathemeral activity patterns of the blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur macaco flavifrons in intact and degraded forest fragments. Endangered Species Research, 3, 293-247.

Schwitzer, N., Randiratahina, G.H., Kaumanns, W., Hoffmeister, D., Schwitzer, C. (2007b) Habitat Utilization of Blue-Eyed Black Lemurs, Eulemur macaco flavifrons (Gray, 1867), in Primary and Altered Forest Fragments. Primate Conservation, 22 (1), 79-87.

Sorg, J. P. 1996. Plant Dictionary. Primate Report, 46, 339-346.

TPF (2022) Plan d’Aménagement et de Gestion de l’Aire Protégée Mandrozo. 80p.

Vallan, D. (2002) Effects of anthropogenic environmental changes on amphibian diversity in the rain forests of eastern Madagascar. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 18(5), 725-742.

Yamashita, N., Sauther, M.L., Cuozzo, F.P., Youssouf, J.I.A. (2015) Beyond the Gallery Forest: Contrasting Habitat and Diet in Lemur catta Troops at Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve. Folia Primatol (Basel), 86(1-2), 35-43.

Westoby, M. (1974) An Analysis of Diet Selection by Large Generalist Herbivores. The American Naturalist, 108, 290-304.

Zachary, L. 2020. Von Der Decken’s Sifaka Propithecus deckenii. New England Primate Conservancy, PO Box 23, Merrimac.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2024 Seraphin Fabrice

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.