Going. August 2023.

They hang out in trees but are not monkeys. They have small bodies, long noses, and large eyes, resembling a cross between a squirrel, a dog, and a cat. And their calls sound like grunts, swears, wails, and sirens. They are lemurs, the oldest living primates, and there’s only one place you can see them in the wild: Madagascar.

Set off the southeastern coast of Africa near Mozambique, Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world. Due to its isolated geographic location, it has sustained some of the world’s rarest species of birds and animals. In fact, 80% of all plant and animal species in Madagascar are not found anywhere else on the planet. 

madagascar lemurs

Among these unique creatures are 110 different species of lemurs, of which 95% are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and hunting. Each of the varieties of lemurs has distinct characteristics defined by their size, color, hair, facial features, calling sounds, and time of activity. Across Madagascar, you can see these amazing creatures residing in different ecosystems, including in private reserves where they are protected from threats to their habitat. Deforestation for farmland and fuelwood, wildfires, as well as illegal hunting have caused lemur numbers to decline. 

Roughly four to five hours east of the capital city, Antananarivo (aka Tana), the 60-square-mile AndasibeMantadia National Park is the most visited rainforest in the country. It’s also home to rare and endemic species of lemurs, including one of the world’s largest lemur species—indri lemurs—and it was featured in one of David Attenborough’s BBC series Madagascar. 

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