RAPID RESPONSE LEMUR CONSERVATION
With some 90% of the original vegetation destroyed and much of what remains severely fragmented, lemur colonies are losing the struggle in a dangerously contracting environment. Critical habitats continue to be devastated by illegal logging, chaotic fires, slash and burn subsistence farming, poaching for the cruel live animal trade, illegal bush-meat hunting, political turmoil, and a devastating withdrawal of international funding.
However, while you become a defeatist, the situation isn’t lost— not with committed HSI supporters like yourself. Following a meeting of the world’s lemur experts, significant habitat areas have been catalogued and a worldwide Rapid Response Fund for Lemur Conservation has been created!
AND HSI HAS MADE AN IMPORTANT COMMITMENT
We are working with Conservation International to help with the whole lemur family and protect the 28 conservation sites identified. Our strategy has three prongs of attack.
Firstly, we’ll work closely with local communities as Madagascar has a strong tradition of community conservation and some have already created community reserves next to the vital habitat areas. Without the local people, our protection efforts are simply not going to be sustainable and the lemurs will be lost.
Secondly, we need to further ecotourism as lemurs are already the nation’s top tourist attraction. Primate Ecotourism (especially primate watching.) is taking off and Madagascar is uniquely placed to capitalise from it.
Finally, we must have a long term research presence. It’s one of the best deterrents to poaching as scientific activity works closely with local communities, provides employment, enhances understanding, and guards against illegal activities.
Although the country has expanded protected regions from 3% to 8% of the island, a loss of government control sees these areas mercilessly invaded for illegal logging wildlife trapping. The situation is even worse outside of these protected areas with slash and burn agriculture, rampant logging and, perhaps most devastating, illegal hunting of lemurs. Fortunately, there’s a strong band of lemur conservationists— Madagascan and international. They are key to preventing the extinction and HSI is proud to number amongst them.
THE LEMURS NEED OUR KNOW-HOW
We know where species occur, which the most important areas to protect are and where new ones should be established. We also know how to enforce the existing legislation and engage with communities.
If we can use this knowledge immediately the lemurs have a great chance of survival and local peoples will also benefit However, we are desperate to secure the funding as there is only a short time to accomplish this rescue mission. We need every HSI supporter to help ensure the lemurs’ future so that we can provide $100,000 over the next three years to work with Conservation International.
Can we get your support today?
Verna Simpson Michael Kennedy
DIRECTOR, HSI DIRECTOR, HSI