Saving the Greater Bamboo Lemur
The Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus) is arguably the most threatened of all lemur species, and one of the rarest primates in the world. The species is endemic to Madagascar, and occurs in small patches of the eastern rainforest belt as well as in some peripheral fragments of degraded forest habitat.
The latest population estimate for the greater bamboo lemur is about 250 individuals. In addition, there are only 20 animals in captivity, with nearly all descended from the same two wild born individuals.
The overall aim of the The Aspinall Foundation Madagascar Programme is to work with local partners for the protection of endangered species and their habitats. The initial focus has been on the conservation of P. simus.
The Aspinall Foundation aims to enhance collaboration by facilitating dialogue between all concerned parties from our base in Antananarivo and by organising a workshop in Madagascar to develop a management plan for the long-term survival of the species.
The Aspinall Foundation is seeking to identify unprotected areas that support bamboo lemurs or bamboo lemur habitat and prioritise them as areas needing additional support. Large areas within the distribution range for this species have not been assessed and more detailed studies were undertaken to discover potentially unknown groups or populations. In 2009, the surveys undertaken by the charity in collaboration with a number of other NGO's has resulted in the identification of several new habitat locations and as such, has doubled the number of locations where the Greater Bamboo Lemur is known to occur.
Now installed in country, with an "Accord de Siège" signed with the government of Madagascar in June 2009, The Aspinall Foundation aims to develop further projects with other endangered lemurs and habitats starting with Projet Tsibahaka, a project for the conservation of the crowned sifaka - one of Madagascar's most endangered sifaka species.
The Aspinall Foundation has already contributed funds towards the planning and implementation of this second project. The steps that have been proposed to achieve our conservation goals for this species include facilitating conservation actions, undertaking population and habitat surveys across their distribution range, managing protected and unprotected areas where crowned sifaka are known to exist and developing strategies to protect individuals located in area that can not be adequately managed.
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