September 08, 2009
Interviews with local people revealed that once several groups of the species resided in the corridor, and even last year, about 20 individuals were still found there. However, within one year, the population dropped from 20 to 6 individuals.
Hunting of the crowned sifaka is taboo in the area, but other activities, such as mining, charcoal production and logging have devastated the corridor. Currently 70 percent of the forest is degraded.
Crowned sifaka in the degraded forest. Photo by: Josia Razafindramanana.
Currently, logging activity is the main threat, since the forest contains many precious trees highly valuable for trade. Large trees over 20 meters in height have disappeared in a very short time, and they continue to be cut down to clear areas for charcoal production or to be burned to extract gold from rocks. On average one tree per day is cut, resulting in a dramatic decline in forest cover.
The livelihood of the local people is gold mining. Artisanal mining occurs all over the corridor, thus forest regeneration is very low due to this exploitation by people from nearby Miandrivazo and Antananarivo.
Forest destruction. Photo by: Josia Razafindramanana.
Besides widespread habitat destruction, hunting and live capture for the illegal pet trade also threaten remaining populations. Only a few populations of this species exist in the Antrema forest, North of Katsepy, and in Anjamena forests (Mittermeier, 2006). A recent study survey of the crowned sifaka shows a density of 48 groups/km² and 173 individuals/km² in Anjamena, using transect line sampling (Muller et al., 2000).
Crowned sifaka in captivity.
Appalling photos reveal lemur carnage in Madagascar [warning: graphic images]
(08/20/2009) New pictures released by Conservation International depict a troubling development in Madagascar: the emergence of a commercial bushmeat market for lemurs. In the aftermath of a March coup that saw Madagascar's president replaced at gunpoint by the capital city's mayor, Madagascar's reserves — especially in the northern part of the country — were ravaged by illegal loggers. Armed bands, financed by foreign timber traders, went into Marojejy and Masoala national parks, harvesting valuable hardwoods including rosewood and ebonies. Without support from the central government — or international agencies that pulled aid following the coup — there was no one to stop the carnage. But now it emerges that timber wasn't the only target.
Political turmoil in Madagascar threatens lemurs, parks
(03/19/2009) Political turmoil in Madagascar has wrecked the country's emerging ecotourism industry and is now threatening to undo decades of conservation work. Conservation in Madagascar is highly dependent on income from tourism. Half of park entrance fees are returned to communities living in and around protected areas. Without this source of income, locals in some areas may turn to conservation areas for timber, fuelwood, agricultural land, and wildlife as food and for export.
Population of critically endangered lemurs discovered in Madagascar
(07/22/2008) Scientists in Madagascar have discovered a population of greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus), a critically endangered species of primate, in an area more than 400 kilometers away from its only known refuge, reports conservation International.