Lemurs in Madagascar

Madagascar Island can easily be considered Noah’s Ark because animal species are numerous and endemic there. In fact, 75% of plants and animals have not been seen anywhere else on the planet. This is the case of the amazing lemur.

Like many primates, lemurs are social animals that live in groups. To maintain cohesion and understanding within the clan, several behaviors were developed. This is the case of cross-fainting which is an act of hygiene but also a form of tactile communication. The lemur has the peculiarity of staining itself with the tongue and passing the coat hairs between the incisors of the lower jaw and thus turning into a comb. If the epilator helps get rid of parasite hairs, it is also useful in catching dust and dead skin.

This is a sivaka from Deakin (Propithecus deckenii) He lives in the canopy shelter in the Tsembo region. This wonderful species with a creamy white coat is nonetheless classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).IUCN) as “in danger”.

Per day like the night

Nature Agency

If diurnal types are very easy to notice, nocturnal types require clearing of forest areas once the sun is hidden below the horizon. Especially since most of them are small. This is the case of the Western forked faneer (Phaner pallescens)listed as endangered (our picture)And It has a body size of 23 to 30 cm and a tail of 37 cm for a weight of 300 to 500 grams. Recognizable by a thorn-shaped strip starting from the middle of the back and ending with the eyes, this species lives in dry tropical forests up to 800 meters in height. As for the vanir, for food, it depends on the trees from which it licks the secretions of the gums. It finds its food by exploring the bark and licking the sap leaking from the cracks with its particularly long tongue. Regularly, insect galleries on the surface of their trunks open thanks to the morphological adaptation of their incisors and horizontally placed lower fangs. As with sifakas, these teeth also serve as combs for mutual grooming.

forest rangers

Nature Agency

Like the vast majority of lemurs, the southern red-fronted lemur (Olymore Ruvivrons) (our picture)They live in family groups that need large areas of forest for their survival and social interactions. This diurnal species is highly sensitive to the degradation of its habitat, threatened by both deforestation and global warming. In 2019, a scientific study was published in The nature of climate change It revealed that more than 90% of their land could disappear in the next 50 years if nothing was done to slow it down. This would, at the same time, endanger the survival of lemurs. However, for scientists, their disappearance “Potential to have ripple effects on the structure and integrity of the remaining forest”Because lemurs are necessary for the reproduction of many types of plants. This species is actually arboreal and its diet consists of leaves, fruits, seeds and flowers. Invertebrates, especially centipedes, are sometimes swallowed by red-fronted lemurs, for their antiparasitic properties and effect on the digestive system and intestines.

From largest to smallest…

Nature Agency

Completely isolated in the Indian Ocean since the end of the Cretaceous period (about 84 million years ago), the fauna of Madagascar had every opportunity to evolve with exceptional originality. Lemurs have not escaped this phenomenon. And if only there were fossils of the largest lemur with the sweet nameArchaeoindris It notes the presence of an animal larger than the “silverback” gorilla with a weight of 200 kg, its opponent, the smallest primate in the world, is still found on the island. Madame Perth’s Mouse Lemur (our picture) It actually weighs 30 grams and has a body measurement of only 9 cm. It belongs to a family Microcebus It looks more like a rodent. But it is nothing. We are already in the presence of primates whose nocturnal habits make them particularly difficult to observe and study. In the Kirinde region, Joanna Malsburg, a doctoral student at the German Center for Primate Studies, is working on the cognitive abilities of the species. Microcebus In the dry forests of eastern Madagascar. Her teams roam the woods to collect specimens that, after two days spent at the research center, regain their freedom, and are released in the same place where they were taken.

Madagascar ambassadors

Nature Agency

Verreaux sifaka or Verreaux sifaka (our picture) It is recognizable by its thick white coat, dark coat, and black skin on its ears and face. These lemurs live in groups of from 2 to 14 individuals under the authority of the dominant female. These groups remain compact and each member maintains visual contact with fellow creatures at all times. Each year, females give birth to one boy. This person will remain attached to his mother’s tummy for about six months.

Lemurs are today the ambassadors of Madagascar. To the point that it has become a symbolic resource for the island on which the thriving ecotourism industry now depends.

Memorizes The largest bamboo lemur

Nature Agency

In the Vohitrarivo region, the Bamboo Lemur Program, developed by the French NGO Helpsimus, has been protecting the habitat of the largest bamboo lemur since 2008. (Prolemur simus) (our picture)listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. It develops many social and nutritional programs for the local population, whose expansion of crops threatens their home. The local population, suffering from extreme poverty, is highly dependent on natural resources for their food and building materials. By increasing public awareness (particularly in schools) of this species and its environmental destruction and by offering alternative solutions to the exploitation of natural resources, the director of the association, Delphine Roulet, has been able to mobilize the population around the conservation of this species.

Information: helpimus.org/blog/project-bamboo-lemur.

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