Scientists sound alarm over extinction threat to lemurs
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Some of the world's top experts in lemurs sounded the alarm on Thursday about an imminent extinction threat to these primitive primates that live only in Madagascar and unveiled a three-year plan to try to prevent them from disappearing altogether.
Lemurs are now the world's most threatened mammal group.
Habitat destruction and fragmentation caused by illegal slash-and-burn farming, logging of rosewood and ebony trees and mining are major threats to lemurs, as is bushmeat hunting by impoverished local people, the scientists said.
A five-year political crisis in Madagascar and a broad breakdown of environmental law enforcement have worsened the situation for the roughly 100 species of lemurs, they said.