More than 90% of Madagascar's lemurs "are on the verge of extinction," says one of the country's leading scientists.
It is a grim prediction for the cute primates, which are only found on Madagascar and the neighboring Comoros Islands.
"We've not much time left," says Jonah Ratsimbazafy, Madagascar's foremost primatologist. "We have to work together to save the living lemurs before it's too late."
Madagascar is an ecological marvel -- 92% of mammals indigenous to the island exist nowhere else on Earth. And despite this distinction, at present 24 of the island's known lemur species, including the silky sifaka and the sibree's dwarf lemur, are listed as "critically endangered," according to theInternational Union for Conservation of Nature red list.
But climate change and man's impact on the ecosystem could take these primates beyond the point of no return, warns Ratsimbazafy.