And then – Lemurs A’Plenty in Madagascar

5 different species of lemur during our forest hike yesterday and then an extra one at night. That’s pretty good we’re told to get five. For the record they were the Golden Bamboo, Red Fronted Brown, Red Bellied, Sportif and the Greater Golden Bamboo. Of course being high in the trees as they are the camera fails to match what the eye can see and the hike ends with 300 shots of dark shapes against sky spreckled through the forest canopy.

Then there’s geckos, chameleons, spiders and aye aye to fill your lens when the lemur shy away. Oh and the night species? That was a mouse lemur. Then down the road to another park to see the ring tailed lemurs, an abundance of them.

Very reminiscent of the forest walks to see gorillas in Rwanda or howler monkeys in the Amazon, you feel pretty privileged to be here and given the forests of Madagascar have taken such a beating as the burgeoning rural population tries to feed itself through cultivation, you do wonder how much longer the famed biodiversity of this island has to go. Certainly National Park fees are supposed to go in large part to sustain the forest tribes who used to inhabit these parts but no longer can because they’ve been so pared back. But as with many things with governments that are the product of coup d’etats, the poor are left to bite the dust. Until the next revolution that is.

You can check out the photo gallery here

4 Responses to And then – Lemurs A’Plenty in Madagascar

  1. jh September 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Is it true that the Catholic Church forbids birth control in Madagascar?

    • Ross Carter-Brown September 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      I don’t know exactly…. But only half the population are christian split between roman catholic and protestant. I do know that the roman catholic church does prohibit use of contraception (and no sex before marriage) but what happens in reality is probably quite different. People will be people.

      • jh September 24, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

        I recall a news item to that effect.Wikipedia:
        “The annual population growth rate in Madagascar was approximately 2.9 percent in 2009.[9] The population grew from 2.2 million in 1900[14] to an estimated 21.9 million in 2011.[4] Approximately 42.5 percent of the population is younger than 15 years of age, while 54.5 percent are between the ages of 15 and 64. Those aged 65 and older form three percent of the total population.[103] Only two general censuses, in 1975 and 1993, have been carried out after independence. The most densely populated regions of the island are the eastern highlands and the eastern coast, contrasting most dramatically with the sparsely populated western plains.[14] ”

        that’s a doubling time every 24 years.

  2. David September 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    I would suggest that you read David Quammen’s “Song of the Dodo” – interesting section on lemurs in Madagascar,and particularly telling comments on extinctions.

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