Endangered species - Madagascar
Madagascar is famous for being the only place on the planet where lemurs reside. These creatures are incredibly fascinating, and fun to watch, but they are on the decline. More than half of all lemur species are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.
Since humans began populating the island 2,000 years ago, at least 15 species have gone extinct, mainly due to deforestation. Because of this, lemurs are now named the world’s most endangered mammal.
Seventy-five percent of species found in Madagascar do not exist anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, more than ninety percent of Madagascar’s original forests have been destroyed, displacing entire animal species. Below are a few endangered species that, through your support of Eden Reforestation Projects, the work of restoring natural habitats helps protect and provides space for our animal friends to flourish.
Coquerel’s Sifaka Lemur
At least seventeen lemur species have gone extinct since the arrival of humans on the island of Madagascar. Out of the one hundred eleven known lemur species and subspecies, one hundred five lemur species are critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable. Coquerel’s sifakas are one of the many lemur species labeled under the endangered category. It is estimated that fifty percent of the Coquerel’s sifakas population has decreased over the past fifty years. This is primarily due to deforestation. As the forests are destroyed from slash and burn agriculture, livestock farming, and charcoal production, the Coquerel’s sifakas lose their habitat.
Radiated tortoises are one of the world’s rarest tortoises. This species naturally resides in the south and southwestern regions of Madagascar. Radiated tortoises are critically endangered due to the loss of habitat, being poached as a source of food, and being overexploited in pet trade. Due to the critically endangered status of this species, it is illegal to export and import radiated tortoises. However, people still smuggle radiated tortoises out of Madagascar. Recently, Eden Reforestation Projects rescued eight radiated tortoises from being smuggled out of Madagascar. These eight radiated tortoises are being nursed back to health at the nature center in Mahajanga.
There are over 150 species of chameleons. Two-thirds of all of these chameleon species are endemic to Madagascar. While some chameleons are stable, over fifty percent are threatened with extinction. The Belalanda chameleon, bizarre-nosed chameleon, and Namoroka leaf chameleon are three examples of chameleon species that are critically endangered. Deforestation and pet trade are the primary reasons the chameleon population is declining. To prevent, chameleons from becoming extinct, protection of the species and their habitat are critical.
Further Protection for Endangered Species
Eden Reforestation Projects further protects endangered and vulnerable species through the Eden Nature Center. Employees of Eden Reforestation Projects safely retrieve species that are in danger due to smuggling, poaching, injuries, and more. At the Eden Nature Center, species are nursed back to health and are protected from further harm. These species are either released either back into their natural habitat or within the Nature Center’s forest to continue wildlife conservation efforts.
Other Examples of Endangered and Vulnerable Species
- Flat-tailed spider tortoise
- Madagascan flying fox
- Madagascar sea-eagle