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Best of 2012 - Male crowned lemur in Madagascar



(12/09/2012) Crowned lemur in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

This is a male crowned lemur in Madagascar's Ankarana Special Reserve.

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Male crowned lemur in Madagascar




Best of 2012 - Female black lemur in Madagascar



(12/04/2012) Female black lemur on Nosy Komba, an island off northern Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

This is a Female black lemur on Nosy Komba, an island off northern Madagascar. Today black lemurs area big draw for tourists to visit Nosy Komba, which lies between the island tourist hub of Nosy Be and mainland Madagascar.

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Female black lemur in Madagascar




Crowned lemur in Madagascar



(11/06/2012) Crowned lemur at a camp site in Ankarana National Park, Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

Continue reading: Crowned lemur in Madagascar




Ankarana Sportive Lemur in Madagascar



(10/30/2012) Ankarana Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur ankaranensis) in Ankarana, Madagascar.

I just returned from 3+ weeks in Madagascar where I was looking into the illegal rosewood trade and other stories. I'll be posting a picture a day for the couple of weeks as a preview to the set that will eventually be online.

Continue reading: Ankarana Sportive Lemur in Madagascar




Baby brown lemur born at the Bronx Zoo



(04/26/2010) aby brown collared lemur clinging to its mother's back in the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS.

The Bronx Zoo has put a recently-born, female brown collared lemur on display at the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit.

The baby lemur is has yet to be named and is the second born to her parents, Jean Luc and Vera. She is one of less than 50 brown collared lemur born in captivity world wide.

The brown collared lemur is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss.

Continue reading: Baby brown lemur born at the Bronx Zoo




How to stop the lemur slaughter in Madagascar



(02/10/2010) Coquerel's sifakas grooming in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler 2010.

Madagascar is in the midst of an appalling logging crisis driven by greed and politics. Here's a proposal for solving the problem.

Continue reading: How to stop the lemur slaughter in Madagascar




Tiny mouse lemur



(01/22/2010) Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus). Photo by Rhett A. Butler 2009.

New research supports the long-held belief that Madagascar's mammals populated the island by rafting on clumps of vegetation across the Mozambique channel. Most of Madagascar's native mammal families are capable of either flight (bats) or long periods of dormancy (lemurs, tenrecs, mongoose-like carnivores, and rodents) during which they lower their metabolism and/live of stored fat reserves. Madagascar's hippos, now extinct at the hands of man, were semi-aquatic and likely able to raft across the channel.

Continue reading: Tiny mouse lemur




A sad day for Madagascar: leadership moves to sell off forests



(01/12/2010) In what is being called an "awful" and "horrible" move for for one of the word's top conservation priorities, Madagascar's interim authority, which seized power during a military coup last year, will now allow rosewood illegally logged from national parks to be exported. The move is expected to trigger a spasm in new logging in the country's remaining rainforest reserves, especially in Masoala National Park. According to local sources, proceeds from the sales of timber will likely be used by Andry Rajoelina's government — which is deemed illegitimate by most of the world's countries — to campaign for upcoming elections.

Continue reading: A sad day for Madagascar: leadership moves to sell off forests




Approaching cyclone could worsen rosewood logging in Madagascar



(01/09/2010) Cyclone Edzani is presently on course to hit Madagascar sometime late next week. The storm could bring devastation to Madagascar, which is already reeling from an economic crisis caused by a military coup in March. Previous cyclones, which hit Madagascar every few years on average, have caused extensive damage and loss of life.

Cyclones are also linked to rosewood logging. While harvesting of precious hardwoods for export has been prohibited for a decade, an exception has been made for "fallen trees" ostensibly knocked down by powerful cyclones. However in practice, this has created a loophole for illegal logging since the government has never conducted an inventory of downed trees following a cyclone. Timber traders can easily claim the logs they've harvested the result of storm damage (similar approaches are also employed by loggers in the United States and elsewhere). So should Cyclone Edzani come anywhere near rainforests that contain rosewood and ebony, expect an escalation in logging. Since national parks are about the only place where these valuable trees still stand, these biological jewels will be targeted.

Continue reading: Approaching cyclone could worsen rosewood logging in Madagascar




'Tastiest' lemur is also one of the most important to the rainforest ecosystem



(01/04/2010) 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.

Continue reading: 'Tastiest' lemur is also one of the most important to the rainforest ecosystem




Dancing lemurs



(11/29/2009) Verreaux's sifaka from southern Madagascar is known as the dancing lemur for the way it moves across open ground.

Primarily a tree-dweller, sifakas are somewhat awkward on the ground due to their splayed feet. Since trees in their habitat are often dispersed, sifakas cross open ground by sashaying on their hind legs with arms aloft.

Beyond their ballet performances, sifakas are famous for their ability to leap from tree to tree in Madagascar's endemic spiny forest, where virtually every branch is covered with sharp thorns or spines.

Continue reading: Dancing lemurs







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