Sunday, March 26, 2023

Biodiversity in Madagascar under threat

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Biodiversity in Madagascar under threat

Lemurs in danger of extinction

Scientists have warned of a loss of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity. According to a study, restoring biodiversity in the African island nation would take millions of years.

Ring-tailed lemurs – a primate species from the group of lemurs – inhabit regions in southwestern Madagascar. (archive image)

Should Madagascar’s endangered species go extinct, it would take 23 million years for mammalian diversity to return to that which existed before humans settled in Madagascar, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

Madagascar broke away from the mainland around 80 million years ago. As a result, an extraordinary variety of plants and animals developed on the island in the Indian Ocean. The settlement of the island by humans around 2500 years ago led to the extinction of around 30 species of mammals, including giant lemurs and elephant birds.

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