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World Madagascar's lemurs take a breather as tourism struggles

13:22  24 september  2020
13:22  24 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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ANDASIBE ( MADAGASCAR ) - Perched on a branch, the lemur blinks back intently at a group of gawking tourists disrupting a coronavirus-induced spell of tranquillity outside Madagascar ' s Andasibe national park. The rainforest and animals thrived during five months of movement restrictions to limit

Many Madagascan species are under threat, like these ring-tailed lemurs in a Paris zoo AFP. Perched on a branch, the lemur blinks back intently at a group of gawking tourists disrupting a coronavirus-induced spell of tranquillity outside Madagascar ' s Andasibe national park.

Perched on a branch, the lemur blinks back intently at a group of gawking tourists disrupting a coronavirus-induced spell of tranquillity outside Madagascar's Andasibe national park.

a small brown animal in the grass: Many Madagascan species are under threat, like these ring-tailed lemurs in a Paris zoo © FRANCK FIFE Many Madagascan species are under threat, like these ring-tailed lemurs in a Paris zoo

The rainforest and animals thrived during five months of movement restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the Indian Ocean island nation.

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The famous lemurs of Madagascar face such severe threats to their survival that none of them may be left in the wild within 25 years. Deforestation and hunting are taking an increasing toll, according to Professor Jonah Ratsimbazafy, director of GERP, a centre for primate research in Madagascar .

Madagascar ’ s tourism drought could fuel another crisis. Isolation helped establish the island’s biodiversity. Now its remoteness poses a threat to lemurs and other wildlife. Photograph by Andy Rouse, Nature Picture Library. Read Caption. Two Coquerel’s sifakas, an endangered lemur species

But struggling tourist facilities breathed a small sigh of relief at the start of September when local nature-lovers were finally allowed to travel to the reserve, a four-hour drive east of the capital Antananarivo.

a bear that is sitting on the branch of a tree: The lemurs of Madagascar's Andasibe forest have been able to enjoy their island paradise tourist-free for months, after the Indian Ocean nation imposed movement restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19. But struggling tourist facilities breathed a small sigh of relief at the start of September when local nature-lovers were finally allowed to travel to the reserve, a four-hour drive east of the capital Antananarivo. They now eagerly await the resumption of international flights, which bring visitors from across the world eager to catch a glimpse of the island's emblematic primates. © Volana RAZAFIMANANTSOA The lemurs of Madagascar's Andasibe forest have been able to enjoy their island paradise tourist-free for months, after the Indian Ocean nation imposed movement restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19. But struggling tourist facilities breathed a small sigh of relief at the start of September when local nature-lovers were finally allowed to travel to the reserve, a four-hour drive east of the capital Antananarivo. They now eagerly await the resumption of international flights, which bring visitors from across the world eager to catch a glimpse of the island's emblematic primates.

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Madagascar is also home to some of the best and most underrated beaches in the world together with some breathtaking nature and scenery making Madagascar a perfect travel destination. There are A LOT of beggars in Madagascan cities, and most of them are young children.

Climate change will force most of Madagascar ’ s wild lemurs to shift their ranges over the next 70 years “But of course if you are starving or if your family is starving, then you know you’d rather take a couple So what’s currently being done to save Madagascar ’ s lemurs ? The island already attracts

In the meantime, Malagasy families are using new-found freedoms to escape the city smog and admire their natural heritage.

"During lockdown, I really felt like leaving the capital and thought we should seize the opportunity to visit new places," says Linda Maminiaina, 22, admiring the lemurs with her parents and siblings.

A black and white Indri Indri, the largest known lemur, shrieked in the background. The species is critically endangered and a rare sighting.

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Help protect Madagascar ' s amazing lemurs by practising these responsible travel tips to ensure that ecotourism benefits both people and wildlife. Ranomafana National Park is a steamy, montane rainforest on the eastern edge of Madagascar ’ s highlands. In this steep world of forest and mist live

Trek with community-protected lemurs in Madagascar . This tourism group wants to save these While all lemur species are on the decline due to a dwindling habitat, some, like the crowned lemurs , are “We take lemur excursions to a level that is still unmatched in Madagascar ,” says Andrianiaina.

"These lemurs are not in a cage but in their natural habitat," Linda's 20-year-old sister Prisca exclaims.

While the family gasps and points excitedly at the animals, French hotel owner Anouk Izouard still deplores the lack of visitors.

"The season is usually in full swing by now and we should be 90 percent booked," says Izouard, who also manages a restaurant and a small private reserve.

Local visitors are only using five to 10 percent of the facilities, she added. Most of her 100-odd employees remain out of work.

Coronavirus and its economic impact have also caused damage to the rainforest itself.

Ranger Pascal Pierre says local communities had started chopping down trees and selling them as firewood to make ends meet.

It is the first time he has ever come across this in over 30 years as head of the Andasibe forest guide association.

"Some also cut wood for construction, they are illegally exploiting the forest to earn money," Pierre lamented.

Logging could destroy the natural habitat of lemurs and other unique fauna Madagascar has to offer.

The country is a biodiversity hotspot and preservation of its fragile ecosystem is mainly funded by tourism, which accounts for around seven percent of economic activity.

Almost all of Madagascar's 100-odd lemur species are red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), threatened mainly by deforestation and hunting.

Over 30 are classed as "critically endangered", the IUCN's last category before "extinction".

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This is interesting!