|Lac Alaotra Gentle Lemur|
|Lac Alaotra is that tiny red dot in the north east of the island|
|Greater Bamboo Lemur|
The great threat to all the bamboo lemurs is habitat destruction. Deforestation not only destroys their bamboo forest homes directly, but also increases drying out of the forest and increased fire risk. They may also be hunted by local people for food.
The Lac Alaotra Gentle Lemurs that we have at Bristol are perhaps the most dietarily specialised of all primates. Although often classed as a separate species, they seem in fact to be a local subspecies at best of the fairly widespread (until recently anyway) Grey Bamboo Lemur H.griseus. Lac Alaotra is one of Madagascar’s larges water bodies, but here too habitat destruction is radically altering life for the animals of the lake. Already the Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatus has become extinct, and ongoing conversion of reed beds to rice fields is threatening the other local endemic forms. Gone from the lake, but recently rediscovered and now with a small captive population, the Madagascar Pochard may have just survived, but any re-establishment of captive bred birds in the wild is many decades away.
|This is all that is left of the Alaotra Grebe|
(images from wikipedia, Bristol Zoo)