November 25, 2009

Peep the leem!

The 6th print from The Endangered Species Print Project is now available for sale on our website!



The new print, by artist Jerstin Crosby, depicts the Golden-Crowned Sifaka, a lemur who has experienced severe population decline this year due to the political coup and unrest in Madagascar. With no central government to enforce conservation laws, Madagascar's unique flora and fauna are being illegally harvested for timber, exotic pets, and in the case of the lemur, the bushmeat industry.

While researching the Golden-Crowned Sifaka with the help of the Duke Lemur Center a sad tale unfolded. The last published population count for the Golden-Crowned Sifaka in 2002 lists 6,000 – 12,000 individuals. A seemingly safe number compared to other species we've highlighted at ESPP, the Seychelles Sheath-tailed bat, for instance claims only 37 individuals .

However, population counts do not always directly correspond with the threat level. Depending on the situation a species with a higher population could be even more vulnerable than a specie with fewer individuals. This is not necessarily news, but while researching the Golden-Crowned Sifaka I came to understand this in a whole new way.

The events in Madagascar this year are a horrid example of the devastation that can be done to a species and it’s habitat in a short period of time. The Duke Lemur Center is estimating the Golden-Crowned Sifaka population to now be around 1,000 and we are bringing that info to the interwebs for the first time.

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