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Saving Lemurs

Have you ever wanted to keep an exotic animal as a pet? Many people do, but that doesn’t make it right to keep one, such as the lemur. It’s still a growing argument, weather lemurs are good pets, or if it’s better to leave them in the wild or in a zoo. People also eat them and contribute to degrading their habitats. This is leading to their extinction, and the fault is ours. To help save lemurs we need to inform people about the importance of lemurs and how to help them.

There are actual lemur consumers, which happens rarely but is most likely to happen inMadagascar. They set up traps for them in the forests and hunt them down. Lemurs are complete victims in this situation because they can’t control what humans will do for survival or fur. The humans doing this don’t stop to realize what they’re doing to them, which greatly contributes to their possible extinction. The reason they get hunted is to be another source of food or clothing. This primate lives in Madagascar which has a large biodiversity. Madagascar is known to have a variety of plants and other species. The ones who eat lemurs also see it as a delicacy which does not seem appetizing at all. The people who then have families, or even single people are even trying to sell them, cook them, and it’s off to the dinner table or at the street corner under a stand for sale.

Lemurs are not Bar snacks!

If only they would stop to think about  what they were really doing and see it from a different perspective, things would be a little different and easier for lemurs to live their natural lives. They should be protected from anything that is harmful because they really are innocent animals. But the ones who do these awful things to them obviously don’t see that.

The most known for killing lemurs are poachers, hunters, and other predators that live in the same area as them. Some of which include snakes (boa constrictors and hognose snake), cats, dogs, and Hawks. Having the animals contribute to the lemurs extinction is not good at all because they are the ones that live in their same habitat. This endangers them even more and being able to have them around in the future. Hunters are sometimes paid to hunt them down. This is why it all boils down to self benefit. These poachers are also just using them for their self benefits; money. They sell them off to other people whether it is for food or other uses, there will be someone to buy it from them. Lemurs are seen as irreplaceable creatures, as are any other animal but since they are just very rare, it would be unfamiliar to see them completely disappear one day because of people’s carelessness and self greed. Another contributor to this creature’s extinction are the villagers from Madagascar. I understand they need food but why not choose another source where they can get plenty more of like fish or crops. Instead they have chosen to hunt lemurs, while not seeing the fact of how they are affecting their existence.

These Lemurs are very protective of their babies, just like any other pet mother but it must be hard for them to lose their child and never see them again but knowing where they were taken. Some horrible things happen to these poor animals. As I’ve mentioned, hunted, skinned, cooked, and in the end eaten. They don’t deserve to live like this and neither do the other animals that this is happening to. But the reason why they are not the best source of fur is because they hardly have any and you would have to skin it instead of just shaving them because they have tiny hairs. It wouldn’t work well with whoever is trying to make something out of it.

In Madagascar, they had decided that keeping lemurs as pets was not a good idea. Since they are aware that lemurs are close to being an endangered species and go extinct, Madagascar decided to officially make it illegal to pouch lemurs or keep them as pets. The only problem now is that since their law is so jacked up right now, they aren’t enforcing this law, and the locals are still pouching lemurs, and keeping them as pets. “What is happening to the biodiversity of Madagascar is truly appalling, and the slaughter of these delightful, gentle and unique animals is simply unacceptable,” says Dr Russ Mittermeier, the president of Conservation International and one of the world’s foremost lemur experts. Dr Mittermeier calls for the international community to review their policy and help the conservation efforts inMadagascaras soon as possible. “The problem of illegal killing of lemurs inMadagascarwill only be solved when authorities act and are empowered.”

Other countries on the other hand, have their own opinion on things, and some believe that it is okay to keep lemurs as pets. Why would it ever be okay to keep an endangered species in your home as a pet? Many people argue that their life is too boring, and that their homes are boring as well with dogs and cats as pets. It’s too normal for everyone, so they go out looking for an exotic pet, so that when friends and family come over for the holidays, they have something to show off to everyone. Lemurs are often picked because they are cute. The reason most lemur owners think it’s alright to keep a lemur as a pet is because they don’t only get one lemur, but two; one male, one female. They do this so they can breed them, have more baby lemurs, and then sell them for money. But of course, they aren’t breeding them for the money, they are helping out by increasing the population of lemurs. This can lead to many problems.

However, Madagascar doesn’t stand alone, and many people that live in other countries agree withMadagascar’s law. They believe that lemurs shouldn’t be kept as pets because they are an endangered species. They also say that most people who adopt a lemur don’t know what they are getting themselves into, mostly because of the expenses, and because of the behavior the lemurs have when kept in captivity.  Same goes with breeding. Owners think that it’s just as easy as breeding dogs, but what you have to realize, is if they were to keep breeding them, then the lemurs would be so closely related, that instead of  “helping the lemur population”, they would be creating genetically mutated lemurs, and possibly make matters worse.

There are many things that contribute to the extinction of lemurs, but the main problem is deforestation. Deforestation is the cutting down and clearing of forests. When you clear a forest it takes away food and homes from the species that live there. If animals don’t have their food and a place to stay it makes it really hard for them to survive. Kevin Hagin author of Deforestation in Madagascar (MADAGAS) wrote “In Madagascar, people have been cutting down the forests for decades. Throughout the past century, much of the rainforests of Madagascar have disappeared. People have begun moving out of the cities, industries have started to expand, and the use of land for farming (particularly coffee) has dramatically increased. All of these phenomenons have led to the destruction of the forest of Madagascar. This has become a major issue, not only because of the value that the forest have on the living environment on earth, but also because of Madagascar’s unusual and rare species. Biologically, Madagascar is one of the richest areas on earth.” This shows that the forest in Madagascar has been degraded for years and that it is important to stop deforestation. Most people that have been deforesting Madagascar are using the slash and burn technique. The slash and burn technique is when you cut down the forest and then burn it. This technique is known to be one of the worst ways of clearing a forest because it kills everything and it takes several years for anything to start to grow back.  Other people use the wood from Madagascar to make profit of it. By clearing theses forests people are taking away the lemur’s ecosystem. Forests need to be let alone so that not just Lemurs but all native species of Madagascar can stay alive.

Many people have tried to help stop the deforestation but there are some people who don’t want to stop. According to “Armed bands are decimating rain-forest reserves in northeasternMadagascar, killing lemurs and intimidating conservation workers, despite widespread condemnation by international environmental groups.” These people are not wanting stop deforestation because a type of wood that is in Madagascar is very profitable. These armed bands aren’t the only people who don’t care about lemurs. The timber mafia is also threatening and intimidating park authorities. According to National Radio Maroantsetra a park ranger from ANGAP (Madagascar’s protected areas agency) had both of his feet broken by representatives of timber barons of Mananara. Also according to the rosewood cutters are more numerous than ever, the logging area is spreading toward the South. These people don’t understand that lemurs and forests are important. There are few forests that people haven’t effected we need to keep our forests because they help control our climate. Rainforest proves that forests are important by saying “Rainforests store water like a huge sponge. The trees draw water from the forest floor and release it back in to the atmosphere in the form of swirling mists and clouds. Without Forests continually recycling huge quantities of water, feeding the rivers, lakes and irrigation systems, droughts would become more common, potentially leading to widespread famine and disease. Did you know that we also depend on trees to cleanse our atmosphere? They absorb the carbon dioxide that we exhale, and provide the oxygen we need to breathe. When rainforest trees are burnt they release carbon dioxide, which pollutes the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. Deforestation is in fact considered the second major driver of climate change (more than the entire global transport sector), responsible for 18-25% of global annual carbon dioxide emissions.” This shows that we all need forests, including lemurs. Forests also give us medicines that keep us humans healthy. According to “more than 25% of our modern medicines originate from forest plants…We have only learned how to use 1% of these amazing plants, so imagine the possibilities if we could experiment with the other 99%!” This shows that by degrading our forests we are taking away from not only lemur health but human health as well. Lemurs are also very important to keeping forests healthy. Lemurs are pollinators, just like bees and butterflies “On the island of Madagascar, black and white ruffed lemurs are the main pollinators of traveler’s trees or traveler’s palm. These trees are typically 40-feet-high. They lemurs use their nimble hands to pull open the tough flower bracts. They stick their long snouts and tongues deep inside a tree’s flower. As a result, they collect pollen on their muzzle and fur, and then transport it to the next flower. The resulting fruits are a major source of food. It appears that no other creature has the strength and nimbleness to pollinate the palm.”

Most people don’t care about lemurs but they should because they keep us alive. We need air to breath and the air that we get comes from trees from our forests. The forests are being degraded which makes our air quality go down, so we need to stop deforestation so that we can breathe. Since so much deforestation has already occurred we need to help replenish our forests by saving lemurs. Lemurs are very important to keeping our forests alive because they pollinate the forests and keep it healthy and growing. For humans to be able to go outside and breath in clean air we need to help stop lemurs from becoming endangered.

To save lemurs we first need to get people to care. People don’t understand the importance of the lemur. By telling people and spreading the word about how we need lemurs for us to live will start making an effect. Then once we inform people of the importance of lemurs we need to if we give them suggestions on what they can do to help, it’ll be an even greater possibility of supporters and people who care because they’ll know what they should do to help. Although there has been some improvement in conservation efforts, the only way to keep it up is if the people keep trying. They also need to keep working to stop the danger that is being brought to them. Although it’s against the law to hunt these helpless primates, people don’t bother to take that in consideration and just do what they want so they can have what they need. Get people to donate to organizations that help protect lemurs.