World Lemur Day is celebrated on 29th of October every year to raise awareness about the endangered species of the island of Madagascar-lemurs. It was first celebrated by Jonah Ratsimbazarfy and was held in the city Antananarivo, Madagascar.

They get their name from the bright orange crown pattern those males and females have on top of their heads. They lived in different kinds of habitat like  rainforests, dry deciduous forests, spiny forests, wetlands, and mountains. Many lemurs are herbivores and feed on fruit, flowers, tree bark and sap. Lemurs can be very picky about what they eat, with most of their diet coming from a few tree species. lemurs can be diurnal (active during the day), nocturnal (active at night), or cathemeral (active during the day and night), depending on the species.

Background And Importance

These creatures-lemurs were evolved about 650 years ago and they are adopted and evolved in various habitats.

The lemurs play important role in the growth, diversity, structure and maintenance of plants and trees and ecosystem of Madagascan forests respectively. They are contemplated as the “creator of forests”. They are fruit lovers, but they can’t eat seeds and are considered as a natural fertilizer. These seeds further will be a cause of formation of trees which provide food, shelter, shade to many other species like chameleon, snakes, and lemurs themselves.

Reasons Of Their Extinction

But 2000 years ago, when humans arrived and humans needs increase, which results in increase in industrializations the cutting of trees, use of coal and slash -burn techniques, destroyed the habitat of lemurs which in result threatened the species. Madagascar has lost 44% of its natural forests and between 2001 and 2019, and these species are declared as endangered in 2012 by the IUCN as most endangered species mammals on earth. Two new studies in 2020 estimate that only 2000 to 4000 species of lemurs are left.

Secondly, the people whose crops are threatened by lemurs they hunt them and also the people who do not have supplement diet will hunt them to eat their meat

 Lemurs are also affected by the climate crisis. Species are at risk of extinction when they leave their initial natural environment because of climate change. A study published in 2019 found that 95% of lemur habitats could be destroyed by global warming as places become too hot to live in. A report also showed that 57 species of lemur populations will decline by 60% if the global temperature increases by 2°C- 4°C by 2100.

Protection Of Lemur’s Species

  • One of the major way to protect the lemur population is to promote sustainable ecotourism because the Malagasy community considers lemurs as their valuable assets and gives many funding to protect and promote ecotourism 
  • We can protect lemurs and the forests in which they are living, by developing a close relationship with local community
  • We can protect lemur species by removing the threat of poaching
  • Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) has worked with the IUCN Save Our Species Lemurs fund, the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, and Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to protect and secure lemur populations by supporting ecotourism, local.

About the Author: Ramsha Hassan is a student of Environmental Sciences at GC Women University, Sialkot. She is a green blogger and loves to write for environment and biodiversity.