Lemur Love is a US-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to preserve Madagascar’s biodiversity by investing in Malagasy people. Their mission is to “Protect lemurs. Empower women. Further science.”
The organization’s conservation agenda is simultaneously animal-centric and human-focused, and works from the premise that human well-being is irrefutably intertwined with sustainable biodiversity. But conservation efforts will only work with the help and advocacy of grassroots Malagasy organizations and people.
The fifth-largest island in the world, Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean about 250 miles off the coast of southeast Africa. It has a landmass of 228,900 sq. mi., and according to a 2021 estimate, 28,427,328 inhabitants.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. More than 80% of those under 18 live in extreme poverty, and children are among the hardest hit by hunger, sickness, and need. With a gross domestic product per capita of US$422, the country is ranked 164 out of 189.
At the same time, Madagascar has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.
The island is home to 200,000+ known species, more than 80% unique to the island. Madagascar boasts 100+ kinds of lemurs, 300+ frog species, and 33 species of tenrecs, miniature hedgehog-like animals. There are more than 11,000 endemic plant species. But the Malagasy people must rely on the ecosystem to live, leading to environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. The most critical issues threatening the region are forest clearing, land conversion, and habitat alteration—all problems tied to human beings.
All photos on this page were provided courtesy of Lemur Love unless otherwise credited.