According to an international research team, eco-tourism and increased conservation efforts will be the best hope for the endangered lemurs of Madagascar.
Save the Lemurs
The world’s most threatened primates are decreasing dramatically in the recent years, mainly because of habitat loss from illegal logging. Christoph Schwitzer from the Bristol Zoological Society in Britain, who has been working in Madagascar for more than 10 years, said that tourists still visit the island despite its political instability.
Schwitzer told BBC, “There’s always a tradeoff between the destruction caused by too many tourists and the money they bring to the country that can be used for wildlife conservation.” He added, “This balance for Madagascar is still very positive for conservation and it’s a long way until it may tip over.”
Eco-tourism is the ideal solution that conservationists see to make this plan successful. They want to follow the example of Rwanda and Uganda, where tourists need to pay to see the endangered mountain gorillas in their habitat.
According to the researchers, the survival plan for the Madagascar lemurs, which combines tourism and conservation efforts, could put up at least $7.6 million. “We have the people, we have the place, we have the ideas, we are just lacking funding,” Schwitzer stated.