Madagascar is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots ranking among the top 5-6 mega-diverse countries in the world and is the second most diverse in terms of primate species. However, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, of the 113 lemur species 90% are threatened with extinction (24 are ‘Critically Endangered’, 49 are ‘Endangered’ and 20 are ‘Vulnerable’) due to habitat destruction caused by slash-and-burn agriculture and illegal logging, as well as hunting and keeping lemurs as pets. Combined, these pressures have made lemurs the most threatened mammal group on earth. Considering the universality of the threats and challenges affecting different lemur species, a coordinated conservation initiative can make a significant difference across many communities and species.
SOS Lemurs was launched to support lemur conservation, in particular through the implementation of the IUCN/SSC Lemur Conservation Strategy. This 5-year initiative (2016-2021) is funded by a Geneva-based private foundation. SOS Lemurs aims to:
- Ensure key lemur populations across key sites are secured;
- Empower relevant communities with skills and livelihood options to help them coexist with lemurs;
- Help local conservation actors/NGOs develop their long-term development goals through knowledge sharing and financial support.
SOS Lemurs provides small to medium size grants to Civil Society Organisations. Interested parties can learn about applying for a grant here.