This BBC video says about itself:
Is it possible that the Black Lemurs in Madagascar use milipedes for something other than insect repellent? See one very relaxed Lemur and come to your own conclusions. Free wildlife video clip from the BBC.
From Wildlife Extra:
615 new species discovered in Madagascar in 11 years – Many already Endangered
New Madagascar species discovered weekly, many already endangered
June 2011. – Scientists in Madagascar have discovered more than 615 species, including 41 mammals between 1999 and 2010 but many of the exciting and colourful creatures are already endangered. New finds since 1999 include 385 plants, 42 invertebrates, 17 fish, 69 amphibians, 61 reptiles and 41 mammals.
Madagascar’s unique habitats are facing numerous threats, but deforestation is among the most serious, with experts saying that the island has already lost 90% of its original forest cover.
Treasure Island: New biodiversity in Madagascar, a WWF report compiling discoveries made in one decade shows the immense diversity of the natural wealth on the world’s fourth largest island, but offers one more dramatic reminder of the increasing threats to this fragile environment.
WWF Madagascar’s Conservation Director Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana said “This report shows once again how unique and irreplaceable the different ecosystems in Madagascar hosting all these different species are. WWF works every day to establish a representative protected area network and to promote sustainable livelihood alternatives to allow people in Madagascar to live in harmony with the natural world surrounding them”.
Endangered before discovered
Although just found, many of the species, including Berthe’s Mouse Lemur, are already endangered due to rapidly progressing environmental degradation, driven mainly by deforestation.
The magnificent Tahina Palm (Tahina spectabilis), a massive fan palm which flowers only once in a lifetime with a spectacular, giant inflorescence that forms from the centre of the crown, is undoubtedly among the most exciting scientific discoveries. After fruiting, the palm dies and collapses.
But for all those who know Madagascar thanks to its famous lemurs, one of the planet’s most charismatic animals, the discovery of the Berthe’s Mouse Lemur (Microcebus berthae) in 2000 was the most exciting news.
Weighing only 30 grams, the cute reddish-brown coloured creature resembling one of the characters of the blockbuster film Madagascar is not only the tiniest of the mouse lemurs but also the smallest primate in the world.
Paradise in danger
One of the greatest tropical wildernesses left on Earth and home to some of the most spectacular wildlife, the island is home to 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, of which more than 70% are found nowhere else on earth. The wildlife includes the aye-aye, radiated [see also here] and spider tortoises, marine turtles, flying fox, fossa, tenrec, chameleons, crocodiles and many others.
But this biodiversity paradise is in danger with many species on the brink of extinction. As deforestation and habitat fragmentation continue, so do erosion and sedimentation of coral reefs, leaving communities more vulnerable than ever. Droughts force people to abandon their fields and move towards the ocean where they practice unsustainable fishing methods causing fish stocks to dwindle away even faster.
200 of the world’s rarest tortoises seized from smugglers in Madagascar: here.
August 2011. A shipment of extremely rare and threatened Malagasy tortoises has been seized by officials in Madagascar as smugglers attempted to board a flight with around 200 specimens. Two men, one a native of Madagascar and an Indian national were arrested: here.