Lemur volunteers needed in Madagascar

Lemurs are now the most endangered mammals, the most endangered primates on earth.  Madagascar is one of the poorest countries on earth, and over the last five years, things have become much much worse...

Political turmoil following a 2009 coup, illegal rosewood logging, slash-and-burn farming, and hunting the animals for food have led to a serious crisis for lemurs.

To reverse the animals' slide into extinction, 19 lemur experts have put together a new action plan. The three-year emergency plan calls for management of 30 lemur sites in Madagascar and an expansion of ecotourism to raise money for lemur conservation.

"Extinctions could begin very soon if nothing is done," said Christoph Schwitzer, a researcher at the Bristol Zoological Society, in England, who led the team that wrote the lemur action plan.

On an island-like peninsular, cut off from the mainland by river mouths to the north and south, Sainte Luce Reserve has been established to contribute to the conservation of this extraordinary habitat, being part of the very last absolute coastal forest left in the south east of Madagascar and one of the most critically endangered micro-habitats in the country. The reserve is bounded to the east by the Indian Ocean (and of course her white sand beaches), to the west by winding fresh water rivers, and to the north & south by more protected forests. There is no adjacent village, the nearest neighbours are a canoe ride away in Manafiafy or 18km down the beach in Itapera. Our reserve boasts fresh water habitat, marine habitat, littoral forest, mangrove, wetland and open grasslands, you will find lemurs, birds, reptiles, mammals, sea turtles, crocodiles.... it's all at Sainte Luce Reserve.

We are now seeking volunteers to help us to manage and protect this extraordinary lemur sanctuary.