Disappearing Animals

April 07, 2014
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Lemurs of Madagascar

Over the weekend, the IMAX documentary Island of Lemurs: Madagascar opened in theaters. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the film is an attempt to raise awareness about efforts to conserve lemurs. They are one of the world’s smallest primates, and are only found on the African island nation of Madagascar. The film follows the work of Dr. Patricia Wright, a primatologist and scientist dedicated to preserving lemurs and their natural habitat. “Many [locals] don’t know lemurs are so special and not found anywhere else in the world,” she told TFK. Click here to read TFK’s Q&A with the scientist.


Between poaching and habitat loss due to illegal logging, some researchers now say the lemurs of Madagascar are “the most threatened mammal group on Earth,” according to a recent article in the journal Science. In addition to national conservation efforts, the international research team concluded that increased ecotourism—tourists who pay to see threatened species in their natural habitats—will benefit both the lemurs and the island’s poor rural communities.


In this slideshow, TIME’s Olivia B. Waxman takes a look at other threatened and endangered animals that have made headlines recently.

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