leaping lemurs

Leaping lemurs! Did you know that lemurs are the most threatened mammals in the world? They are so unique and so important in our evolutionary chain. Lemurs are a type of primate found only on the island country of Madagascar, and no, they are not monkeys. They are prosimians and they need protecting! Luckily researchers are putting their foot down and making firm plans to save these incredible animals.

Photo From WWF
Photo From WWF

The IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group has begun to outline new strategies to save the many different species of lemurs, all inhabiting Madagascar. Threats to the lemurs include habitat loss, hunting, the exotic pet trade, and predation by introduced predators(like domestic animals). Lemurs earned the title most threatened mammal in the world 91% of all lemurs on the IUCNs Red List, and there are over 100 species of lemur. According to IUCN 23 species of lemur are Critically Endangered, 52 are Endangered, and 19 are Vulnerable to extinction. Those numbers are from 2012, and sad to say, I’m sure they’ve gone up.

Photo from Mongabay
Photo from Mongabay

Researchers and conservationists are fighting a difficult battle. Because lemurs are limited to an island, there is not habitat expansion, one the are run out of their habitats, that’s it, they can’t expand their range. Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world and its citizens struggle to even just feed their children. When people are starving they are concerned with keeping their families alive, not the endangered species that they might be competing for food or resources with.

Photo from my own collection I took at an exotic animal breeder
Photo from my own collection I took at an exotic animal breeder

The IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group is coming up with plans to stop, or at least slow habitat loss, increase habitat and habitat connectivity, since many of the viable forests are now scattered dots on a map of Madagascar, stop illegal logging, encourage sustainable resources for local peoples, end lemur hunting, boost research and increase local, national and international awareness. So lets help them out! Spread the word about lemur love!

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