Madagascar is one of the world’s largest and most bio-diverse islands. About the same size as France, with a population of around 18 million, it is also one of the world’s poorest countries.
Over 75% of its species are unique to Madagascar!
Lemurs are found only on the island of Madagascar.
Madagascar is an island off the south eastern coast of Africa.
There are 35 species remaining of the known 50 species.
Most lemurs live about 18 years, but ruffed lemurs can reach over 25 in captivity.
Lemurs have a keen sense of smell, and excellent eyesight.
Unsurprisingly Madagascar is of urgent concern for conservationists. Environmental measures of varying kinds, to protect its tropical rain forests have been in place for more than a hundred years, yet significant areas of forest have disappeared. Today there is less forest than at any time since man first inhabited the island around 2,000 years ago.
Rapidly disappearing habitat and an expanding, yet impoverished, human population threatens the survival of lemurs.
Endemic poverty is largely responsible for Madagascar's major environmental problems. Day to day survival for the Malagasy impacts heavily on the survival of Madagascar’s unique wildlife, including ...
Slash and burn agriculture - converting rain forests to rice fields leads to
Widespread soil erosion - rivers run red carrying soil into the Indian Ocean.
Illegal logging - especially ebony and rosewood, sold in international markets
Charcoal production - many Malagasy make a small living selling charcoal
Fire - every year large sections of Madagascar’s natural habitat is set alight to clear the ground for agriculture
The recent political crisis in Madagascar - is reversing recent conservation gains. Both this island's unique bio-diversity, and its lemur population are more threatened than ever.
In the wild Lemurs are only found in Madagascar. They are primates, from a group called Prosimians, which means ‘before monkeys’.