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™, 33 lemur species are Critically Endangered, with 103 of the 107 surviving species threatened with extinction. This is 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.
The SOS Lemurs initiative is aligned with the recommendations and priorities for lemur conservation as presented in the document published by the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group: Lemurs of Madagascar – A strategy for their conservation 2013-2016
Ultimately 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. Any active Calls for Proposals are posted on the Calls for Proposals web-page.