Madagascar is considered one of the most diverse and ecologically important regions in the world. Sadly, slash-and-burn agriculture, mining, illegal logging and poaching have caused the loss of over 90% of Madagascar’s original forest cover and an overwhelming majority of animals to wind up on the list of endangered species.
The Molecular Genetics Department at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, led by Dr. Edward Louis, has had several established conservation projects in Madagascar for over 11 years. This conservation effort is called the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership or MBP. The MBP utilizes scientific research to aid in the protection of endangered species. Louis' efforts with the MBP have had immense success. The MBP has named 21 new species of lemurs in Madagascar and implemented many community involvement projects.
- About the size of Texas, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world.
- Madagascar is located near the southeastern coast of Africa
- The native culture of Madagascar is Malagasy; the native language is also Malagasy.
- Over 80% of Madagascar’s animals are endemic, meaning they can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
- Over 90% of Madagascar’s forests have disappeared due to human activity.
- Madagascar is home to the most endangered primate in the world, the Greater Bamboo lemur. This lemur got its name from its diet that is made up of 90% bamboo, despite the toxic levels of cyanide it contains.
To review publications regarding Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo's efforts Madagascar, please click here.