Lemurs Far More Endangered Than We Thought

daventam/CC BY-ND 2.0

In fact, Madagascar's iconic endemic primates are the most threatened mammal group in the world, with 91% of lemurs threatened with extinction. That's what a new assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature has found.

Of the 103 different species of lemur, 23 are now listed as critically endangered, 52 are endangered, 19 are vulnerable. Just 6 species are not considered to be on the endangered scale, with 2 being near-threatened and 3 being of least concern. For 4 lemur species we don't have enough data to determine their status.

The most endangered of the critically endangered lemur species, the northern sportive lemur (picture below), has just 18 known individuals alive.

The last time such an assessment was done, in 2005, 10 species were considered critically endangered and 21 were endangered. Conservation International cites the increase in threats to lemurs, as well as the increase in recognized lemur species, as being behind the dramatic jump in endangered lemur species.

Leonora Enking/CC BY-SA 2.0

Tags: Endangered Species

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