Madagascar Lemurs: The Sifaka Database

The Database

The sifaka lemur (Propithecus verreauxi) has been studied at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) in southwest Madagascar since 1984. The Yale Peabody Museum (New Haven, USA) hosts the Sifaka Database, under a collaborative agreement with the School of Agronomy, University of Antananarivo (Madagascar). The Database includes monitoring information on over 900 individuals. The purpose of the Database is to support research, serve as a resource for teaching, and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in and around the BMSR. The Reserve is the focus of a longstanding, community-based conservation partnership. Additional information about partnership activities can be found on its website here.


The Database and accompanying documentation can be accessed here:

How to Cite

Publications making any use of the Database must cite the Database website, and acknowledge the School of Agronomy (École Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques), University of Antananarivo, and the Yale Peabody Museum as joint owners and stewards of the Database. Citations shall state: Yale Peabody Museum, Yale University, and Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d’Antananarivo (Madagascar). Bezà Mahafaly Database: (accessed: month/day/year).


For more information or to report errors, please contact:

Jeannin Ranaivonasy Contact for ESSA
Isabella Fiorentino Contact for Yale


Pothin Rakotomanga (1984-1995) and Joelisoa Ratsirarson (1996-present) oversaw data collection, with the support of Alison Richard (1984-present) and Jeannin Ranaivonasy (1999-present). Hélian Ratsirarson, Sylvia Ravelonjatovo, Jeannicq Randrianarisoa, Jacky Youssouf, Miandrisoa Razafindrabe, Sibien Mahereza and Zovelosoa Raharinavalomanana served as field coordinators over the years. Behaligno (1984-1994) and Enafa Rajaonarisoa (1995- present) conducted censuses and captured animals, assisted by other members of the BMSR monitoring team: Efitira, Elahavelo Efitroarana, Edidy Ellis, Emahalala Ellis, Rigobert Emady and Edouard Ramahatratra.

The following contributed to field observations and/or assisted with the capture program: Andry Andrianandrasana, Merrill Baker, Diane Brockman, Chloe Chen-Krauss, Laurie Godfrey, Kashka Kubzdela, Richard Lawler, Sheila O’Connor, Mark Pigeon, Elysé Razanajaonarivalona, Roshna Wunderlich, Ny Yamashita, the late Robert Dewar and the late Patricia Whitten.

Marion Schwartz created and compiled the Schwartz Database (1984-2012). Joelisoa Ratsirarson and Jeannin Ranaivonasy created and compiled the Next Generation Database (2012-2022), with the assistance of Notahinjanahary Rasamimanana, Miora Ramanakoto and Mikoja Rambinintsoa. ESSA faculty, students and staff (Joelisoa Ratsirarson, Jeannin Ranaivonasy, Mikoja Rambinintsoa, Rija Randriamialison, Mia Razafimahefa) collaborated with Yale faculty and staff (Nelson Rios, Isabella Fiorentino, Alison Richard and Lawrence Gall) to merge and transfer the legacy databases to a new platform.