Madagascar, also known as the Republic of Madagascar is a vast island nation approximately 200 miles off the southeast coast of Africa. It is a country that is home to one of the world's most endangered species of animals; the lemurs. Ninety-one percent of the 103 known species of the Lemur are on the brink of extinction. The destruction of the rain forests in the country contributes significantly to the decline in the numbers of animal species in the country. The destruction is so severe that the country's prime minister had to sign a decree that prevents mining and logging companies from destroying rain forests.This article discusses some of the most endangered species in Madagascar particularly the lemur species.
Madagascar's Most Endangered Mammals
Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur
The Black-and-white ruffed lemur is a species of ruffed lemurs situated in Madagascar scientifically known Varecia Variegata. They have an approximate length of 3.3 to 3.9 feet and weight ranging from 3.1 to 4.1 kg. Their primary habitat is in the high canopy formed from seasonal rainforests in the eastern side of the country thus arboreal locomotion. They feed mainly on fruits, nectar, flowers, leaves, and seeds. They have a short gestation period, give birth to many offspring at once, and mature rapidly as well as a lifespan of 36 years. They are divided into three subspecies the Varecia Variegata subcinta, Varecia variegate editorum, and Varecia Variegata variegata.
Blue-eyed Black Lemur
The blue-eyed lemur is a species lemur from the genus of Eulemur with a scientific name of Eulemur flavifrons. It is a primate that weighs approximately 1. To 1.9 kg with a total body length of 3.3 feet, with strong hands for a firm grip on branches due to its non-prehensile tail. The males are black in color while the females are red-brown. Both the males and females have different characteristics beyond differences in sexual organs and are mostly in groups of four to eleven it males being the majority. The blue-eyed black lemur mainly feeds on fruits, pollen, nectar, berries, and seeds. Its primary habitat is the both moist and dry sub-tropical in northwest Madagascar.
Golden Bamboo Lemur
The golden bamboo lemur, scientifically known as Hapalemur aureses, is a species lemur from the Genus of Hapalemur found in the southeast Madagascar. It weighs approximately 1.6kg with an overall body length ranging from 20 inches to 34 inches. It is an endemic species situated in the rainforests at an elevation of 2,000 to 4,600 feet living in groups of two to six and majorly feed on grasses and bamboos. Their numbers have constantly been dropping due to hunting and loss of habitat as a result of agriculture.
The gray-headed lemur, scientifically known as Eulemur cinereiceps, is a primate in the family of Lemuridae found in the southeast Madagascar. In 2005, it was estimated to cover an area of 270 square miles but has been highly threatened by hunting and destruction of its habitat.
Threats To The Wildlife Of Madagascar
The black-and-white ruffed lemur is faced with major threats like the predators, hunters, and agricultural practices conducted in the region.The number of the blue-eyed black lemur has constantly decreased due to habitat destruction by humans. Other species of threatened animals of Madagascar also face similar threats and conservation efforts need to be speeded up if these animals are to survive.