27 Apr '12, 4pm

The world's 10 most threatened forest hotspots: #ArborDay

9 - Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands This hotspot is a living example of species evolution in isolation. Despite close proximity to Africa, the islands do not share any of the typical animal groups of nearby Africa. Instead, they have evolved an exquisitely unique assemblage of species, with high levels of endemism. Madagascar’s more than 50 lemur species are the island’s charismatic worldwide ambassadors for conservation, although several species have been driven to extinction. In an area that is already one of the most economically disadvantaged in the world, the high population growth rate is putting tremendous pressure on the natural environment. Non-sustainable agriculture, hunting and timber extraction, industrial and small-scale mining are growing threats. It is estimated that only 10 percent of the original habitat of these islands is left. In Madagascar, pr...

Full article: http://www.conservation.org/newsroom/pressreleases/Pages/...

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