Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata). Photo taken in October 2009 by Rhett A. Butler
The Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) lives in Madagascar’s eastern rainforests. Surveys of village residents near Ranomafana National Park reveal that the Black-and-white ruffed lemur is the “tastiest” type of lemur. Patricia Wright, executive director of the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments at Stony Brook University, says this is troubling because the black and white lemur may also be the most important seed disperser in Madagascar.
Since the government’s collapse after a coup last March, Madagascar’s rainforests have been plundered for their precious wood and unique wildlife. But now there are a few encouraging signs, as officials promise a crackdown on illegal logging and ecotourists begin to return to the island.