Lemurs The World’s Most Endangered Species

Lemurs only live on Madagascar and most of them won’t be living for much longer

Wiping out the lemursThe greater bamboo lemur is down to 150 total animals worldwide

A new study in the peer-reviewed magazine Science describes Madagascar’s 101 lemur species are “the most threatened mammal group on Earth”. Of that number, 90 species are classified as seriously at risk. Statistically speaking, 23 species as “critically endangered,” 52 as “endangered,” and 19 as “vulnerable” on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Lemurs are native only to this huge island off the east coast of Africa, which, like Australia, has evolved hundreds of unique life forms due to its isolation. But now, like Australia, these lifeforms are going the way of the dodo bird and for the same reasons. Us.

Madagascar, already in the midst of a tragic decades long environmental decline, has now become politically destabilized. That generally leads to rampant corruption, habitat destruction and environmental crimes such as illegal deforestation and unregulated extraction activities. About 90% of the island’s vegetation has been cut down, leaving only fragmented habitats. And a hungry population has turned to the remaining lemurs as a tasty food source. Read more about it here.

Australia is only politically destabilized to the degree that they have elected a prime minister who is a right wing asshole. And that always encourages the plundering classes to do more plundering.

So while there are some species of lemurs in zoos around the world, the numbers of animals required to sustain a viable population is not usually achievable when no members of the group remain in the wild. In the case of the the northern sportive lemur, total population is down to only 18 known animals.

As for the cute little greater bamboo lemur, there are fewer than 150 left on the planet. A father and daughter are the remaining members of the population left in Ranomafana National Park.

While most humans generally don’t get worked up about species they don’t consider cool, they can often achieve an attention span of up to five minutes for designer species such as the Monarch butterfly. So the plight of the visually compelling large-bodied Indri lemur may also may also get some attention before they too disappear forever. Look for some overwrought network coverage in about a year, depending on what the royal family and the Kardashians are up to.

More on Madagascar here.

*The fact that a number of North American bat species are in serious trouble due to a lethal and contagious fungus is not bothering too many people, because a lot of people “don’t like bats.”

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