Posted on 28 October 2020
Silky Sifaka (Simpona) are on the spot in the Northern Highlands! Around the COMATSA protected area (Corridor Marojejy-Anjanaharibe Sud - Tsaratanana), radio programs have been broadcast since 2019 for the protection of this emblematic lemur of the region.
To fight against the extinction of this very rare species of lemur that can be seen nowhere else than in this area, the WWF produced a series of programs "Feon'ny Simpona" (the voice of the silky Sifaka in English). On air through four local radio stations, the 6-minute broadcasts cover the entire Andapa basin and the rural areas surrounding the forests where the Sifaka lives.
The programs informs and educates listeners on lemurs in general and more specifically on "Simpona", but also on the threats to their habitats and the right way to contribute to their protection. Indeed, the forests where this lemur lives are threatened; in particular by the clearing due to the transformation of the forest agriculture areas.
Between 2018 and 2019, 4,224 Ha of forests were cleared, including 1,515 ha in the hard core of COMATSA. The "Simpona" is also a victim of poaching for local consumption. To date, the species is listed as Critically Endangered because it is estimated that it has fewer than 250 mature individuals that roam free in their natural environment. “With these broadcasts, we aim to ensure that communities bordering the habitats of these endemic lemurs will be more and more involved in their protection,”
says Maeva Volanoro from WWF. "These are the riches of our region and our country, we must be aware of it"
she concludes. In the Northern Highlands of Madagascar, the communities, supported by WWF, actively participate in the protection of the “Simpona” and the restoration of the rainforest, which constitutes their natural habitat. Through sustainable management of natural resources, communities lead monitoring patrols, community survey and protect the areas where this lemur lives, which is their emblem.