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Scientists map plan to save lemurs

Primatologists and researchers have devised a wide-ranging plan to protect Madagascar’s most endangered lemurs from extinction.

The plan, produced by the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, aims to reverse declining population trends among lemurs, 94 percent of which are considered at risk of extinction due to habitat loss and hunting. Strategies outlined in the report including curbing habitat loss and degradation, increasing habitat and habitat connectivity, stopping illegal logging, encouraging more sustainable resource use by local populations, ending lemur hunting, boosting research, and increase awareness at local, national and international levels.

“Lemurs and prosimians in general are facing grave threats, but we now have a good idea about what needs to be done to save these iconic animals,” said lemur expert Jonah Ratsimbazafy of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in a statement released at the conclusion of a the 2013 International Prosimian Congress held at the Centre ValBio in Madagascar. The Centre ValBio is a world-class research center located on the edge of Ranomafana National Park, a protected area that houses more than a dozen lemur species.

CITATION: Schwitzer C, Mittermeier RA, Davies N, Johnson S, Ratsimbazafy J, Razandramanana J, Louis Jr. EE, Rajaobelina S (eds). 2013. Lemurs of Madagascar: A Strategy for !eir Conservation 2013–2016. Bristol, UK: IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation, and Conservation International. 185 pp.

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