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Global Ideas

Madagascar's lemurs - cute forest dwellers soon losing their home?

The island's forests are disappearing fast. And with them their most iconic inhabitants. Scientists are trying to save the severely endangered primates and their habitat.

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Watch: Lemurs in Madagascar

Project goal: Investigating and protecting lemurs and their forest habitat
Project partners: German primate center
Location: 150 hectares inside Kirindy forest in Western Madagascar
Key species: Madagascar's biodiversity is among the richest on Earth - especially in the country's forests, which are disappearing at an alarming rate

German scientists have been studying the lemurs in Western Madagascar's Kirindy forest since 1993. And they have discovered many new species. But many questions remain regarding the primates' behaviour. With illegal logging destroying their forest habitats, they are now severely threatened with extinction. The scientists' goal is to break the vicious circle of poverty, the lack of prospects and environmental destruction. To this end they have established a club for children and young adults. They found tree nurseries, and plant seedlings to raise awareness among the young. It's an effort between hope and hopelessness. If the destruction of the forest continues unabated, it will be gone in 20 years - and with it the lemurs.

A film by Michael Wetzel

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