April 20, 2010
Lemur in Madagascar

I was fascinated to hear that the elusive Sibree's Dwarf Lemur has been "rediscovered" a century after its first sighting in Madagascar.

Researchers have discovered the world's only known living population of Sibree's Dwarf Lemur, a rare lemur known only in eastern Madagascar. The discovery of approximately a thousand of these lemurs was made by Mitchell Irwin, a Research Associate at McGill University, and colleagues from the German Primate Centre in Göttingen Germany; the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar; and the University of Massachusetts.

The species was first discovered in Madagascar in 1896, but this tiny, nocturnal dwarf lemur was never studied throughout the 20th century. Following the destruction of its only known rainforest habitat, scientists had no idea whether the species still existed in the wild - or even whether it was a distinct species.

The only other known specimen of Sibree's dwarf lemur, sits in The Natural History Museum in London! As with any new discovery, I hope it leads to increased conservation efforts, but like most endangered species, they live in areas with limited resources. Certainly protecting this newly rediscovered species from extinction in a country already ravaged by habitat destruction is the next challenge and an issue faced by conservation agencies and local communities across the globe.

Our Madagascar Diverse Wildlife Tour has been specifically designed to witness the spectacular diversity of Madagascar’s unique fauna and flora. Incorporating a variety of habitats, ranging from Montane rainforest to western deciduous forest, you will accompany park guides through a rainforest in search of the largest lemur, the Indri and watch troops of Coquerel’s Sifakas in Ankarafantsika National Park where nocturnal walks are also particularly rewarding. Your journey will continue to Morondava, where you will search for the giant jumping rat and elusive fosa, Madagascar’s largest carnivore, before enjoying the spectacular sight of the Avenue of Baobabs. The trip also includes a contribution towards the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (DWCT) so that they can continue their much needed work and ensure that such discoveries continue!

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