Verraux’s Sifakas in the Spiny Forest

24th October 2015. Berenty, Madagascar.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

The images in this post are from an early morning walk before breakfast, between 7am and 8am.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

Verraux’s Sifaka is listed as vulnerable due to habitat loss from land clearing.  Its main natural predator is the Fosa, though I presume there are no fosas here.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

They live in groups of many males and females from 8 to 14 members.  Their mating period is January and February, which is the only time they display aggression.  They bear single young.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

Here we see one feeding off leaves of a very spiky stem of a tree in the spiny forest.  The spiny forest covers a large semi-desert area in the south of Madagascar and we are on the edge of it here.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife .

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

They are well adapted for drought conditions and can if necessary gain sufficient moisture from succulent leaves and dew.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife .

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife .

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

This is a characteristic early morning poise, sitting back and soaking in the sun.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife .

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

Note the extra eye below.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

Young one leaping from branch to branch.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife .

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife

A closeup of one of the spiny trees.  Not so easy for a human to climb with bare hands and feet.

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Berenty, Landscape, Madagascar, Nature, Photography, Spiny Forest, Travel, Verraux's Sifaka, Wildlife A chick of an unknown bird species.

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9 comments on “Verraux’s Sifakas in the Spiny Forest

  1. The spiny trees look a lot like our Ocotillos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Murray Foote says:

      I can see the resemblance and ocotillos have leaves along their stems. Ocotillos though seem to be shrubs that clump from the base. These are trees that branch out from a single stem.

      I’ll add another image to the last Berenty post “A Conspiracy of Lemurs”, in five posts time on 6 August, that shows a grove of these plants.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Murray Foote says:

      You’re right! Alluaudia Procera or Madagascar Ocotillo, also known as Octopus Tree, can grow to 15 metres (50 feet).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Lurie says:

    Fascinating and delightful post, Murray! Wonderful images. Love the extra eye. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful creatures, beautifully captured. Such a treat!

    Like

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