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Lemurs are now on the brink of extinction


Posted on Friday, 21 February, 2014 | Comment icon 10 comments

Lemurs are native to Madagascar. Image Credit: Rvb
The unique inhabitants of the Indian Ocean island Madagascar are on the verge of disappearing forever.
Despite there being around 100 different species of lemur, a combination of hunting and habitat destruction could soon push them past breaking point. Lemurs are now considered to be the world's most endangered mammal group and experts believe that there is a very real risk of them going extinct.

The situation has been worsened by the fact that lemurs can be found nowhere else on Earth and because a political crisis in Madagascar has lead to a breakdown of the environmental law enforcement agencies needed to protect them.

"Extinctions could begin very soon if nothing is done," said zoologist Christoph Schwitzer. "One cyclone or other natural event could wipe out the entire population. In fact, anybody who decides to go out lemur hunting could tip the species over the edge."

To try to remedy the situation, a team of conservationists has laid out a new plan to focus their efforts on 30 high value sites across the island. It is hoped that by maintaining a long-term research presence in these areas and by working to encourage ecotourism it will be possible to prevent the lemurs from being wiped out entirely.

Source: New Zealand Herald | Comments (10)

Tags: Lemurs, Madagascar


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Eldorado on 21 February, 2014, 13:06
Why do some critters have black hair/fur around their eyes? Anyone?
Comment icon #2 Posted by redhen on 21 February, 2014, 13:24
From the article; "The situation has been worsened by the fact that lemurs can be found nowhere else on Earth and because a political crisis in Madagascar has lead to a breakdown of the environmental law enforcement agencies needed to protect them." Political crisis? "Primary causes of forest loss include slash - and - burn for agricultural land (a practice known locally as tavy) and for pasture, selective logging for precious woods or construction material, the collection of fuel wood (including charcoal production), and forest clearing for mining." http://en.wikipedia....n_in_Madagascar If y... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by YukiEsmaElite0 on 21 February, 2014, 13:52
I heard about this because of a movie preveiw. I want to help save them, but I can't do much from here...
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sundew on 21 February, 2014, 14:03
Why do some critters have black hair/fur around their eyes? Anyone? It acts as eyeshadow helping to reduce glare from the sun. The same reason NFL (and other) football players put dark streaks under their eyes during the games. I don't know but there is probably a correlation between animals in more tropical areas and also in diurnal animals tending to have more of this coloration. For example, the cheetah has black rings around its eyes and it a dirunal sight hunter in open sunny areas.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew on 21 February, 2014, 14:20
Madagascar as a whole is in serious trouble, its biodiversity has been nearly destroyed. Something around 10% or perhaps less of its original habitats are still there. Human population and pressure have put many plants and animals in serious trouble. Not only are all the world's species of lemur found there, I believe it has 5 of the 7 Baobab tree species, many endemic species of Euphorbia, an entire family of amazing spiny plants found nowhere else: the Didiereaceae, many species of gecko, most of the world's chameleon species, boas, at least 3 rare carnivorous plants, many orchids, many ende... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by LimeGelatin on 24 February, 2014, 20:19
Why do some critters have black hair/fur around their eyes? Anyone? Because they party all night, duh, didn't you see Madagascar? -LoLzzz
Comment icon #7 Posted by EllJay on 24 February, 2014, 22:34
It's time for the Lemurs to fight back, dammit!!!
Comment icon #8 Posted by EllJay on 24 February, 2014, 22:41
Lemurs might be the coolest animals ever. Their Zen-meditation in the sun is just priceless.
Comment icon #9 Posted by EllJay on 24 February, 2014, 22:48
.....as are their 2-leg jumping on the ground. It looks like they coming at ya wanting to fist fight you when they jump with the side towards you, and with their paws waving in the air.
Comment icon #10 Posted by JGirl on 24 February, 2014, 22:48
awww poor little gaffers


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