Save the Last Northern Sportive Lemurs

Target: Johanita Ndahimananjara, Madagascar’s Minister of Environment, Ecology, and Forests

Goal: Save the northern sportive lemur, endemic to Madagascar, from extinction.

The northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis) is a critically endangered, tiny lemur known for its large, amber eyes. It is native to Madagascar, and is one of the world’s most endangered primate species. It is known as “sportive” due to its unique trait of taking on a boxer-like stance when threatened.

This lemur’s total population is difficult to count and estimates vary extremely widely, lending to fears surrounding its near-term extinction. In 1999, its population was estimated to number between 10,000 and 100,000 individuals; in 2013, Richard Conniff, a writer for TakePart, reported that there may be as few as 19 of the lemurs left in the wild.

Madagascar, a country which has been designated a biodiversity hospot by Conservation International, is home to many threatened species, but few quite as endangered as L. septentrionalis. Charcoal production and other forms of human encroachment have lead the lemur’s terminal decline. Despite this, little of its known traditional habitat range—from the Amber Mountain National Park south to the Mahavavy River in northern Madagascar—is designated as protected land (small populations of the lemur have been reported in protected areas, though these claims are tenuous.)

In 2013, it was reported that just tens of individual lemurs were living on a patch of land about a quarter of the size of New York’s Central Park. Call for better protections for this nearly-exterminated primate.


Dear Minister Ndahimananjara,

Please encourage your government and Madagascar’s Ministry of Environment, Ecology, and Forests to immediately move to protect the critically endangered northern sportive lemur (L. septentrionalis). This lemur is one of the most endangered of all primates, and its habitat in Madagascar remains barely protected.

Population counts for the lemur vary widely. It has been reported, however, that just 19 individuals remain in the wild, in an area about 200 acres (0.81 square kilometers) large.

Allowing this lemur to die off would be to allow a unique species on Earth to vanish forever. It would be an unforgettable, and unpardonable, disservice to nature and society.

Please do whatever you can to protect the last of the northern sportive lemurs. Please do whatever you can to restore their lost population as quickly as possible.

Thank you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Frank Vassen

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  1. If the estimation of only 19 of these lemurs left in the wild is accurate, they are in serious trouble and need immediate and strong protection. It is up to humans – who have devastated the numbers of these beautiful little creatures – to step up now and take action to save them.


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