Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lemur Emergence

A new population of lemurs has been discovered in the Torotorofotsy wetland region of east-central Madagascar. The extremely rare greater bamboo lemur, or Prolemur simus, is listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union. This newfound group joins another isolated population of ~100 animals in Madagascar's northern bamboo forests, some 400 km away.

Scientists estimate that 30 to 40 of the lemurs live in the swampy region, where bamboo is plentiful. These wrinkly faced creatures are known for cracking open giant bamboo with their industrial-strength jaws. Perhaps a pocket population strayed south to escape habitat destruction from illegal logging, which is common in the north.

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