May 16, 2014

Pop Quiz: Lemurs


Maggie: Today is Endangered Species Day, so we brought in Dr. Pat Wright, a primatologist, and a few special guests.

Now, this lemur right here – Mowgli – clearly loves me.

Dr. Pat Wright: Obviously.

Maggie: Can you tell me more about him?

Dr. Wright: This is a ring-tailed lemur. It comes from the southern part of Madagascar where it’s very, very dry. They come in large groups, and they are absolutely adorable.

Maggie: And now, Dr. Wright, you have a pop quiz for us.

Dr. Wright: Indeed I do. There are 103 species of lemurs. And they come from one country – Madagascar.

The pop quiz today is where is the country of Madagascar? Is it A, B, C or D?

You have 10 seconds.

Alright. Time’s up. The answer on the map is B.

Maggie: Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, right off the southeast coast of Africa. It also has one of the worlds most diverse and unique ecosystems. Ninety percent of the plants and animals found on the island evolved there and nowhere else in the world. But as humans continue to move onto the island, the illegal cutting of trees is destroying the natural habitat of many different species, including the lemur.

Could lemurs go extinct?

Dr. Wright: I’m terrified every day. Ninety-one percent of them are in danger of extinction. That’s more than any other group of mammal.

Maggie: What is being done to help them?

Dr. Wright: Protecting their habitat, we’re stopping hunting, we’re trying to stop mining in the areas where they come from. It’s a continual challenge and we’re doing the best we can.

Maggie: Well, Dr. Wright and Mowgli, I want to thank you both so much for stopping by.

If you guys want to learn more about lemurs, we have got plenty of information for you over at


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