Madagascar: Lemur land

Print edition : January 31, 2020

A tiny bamboo lemur at the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in eastern Madagascar. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A brown lemur mother and baby. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A brown lemur mother and baby. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

The indri, which local people call babakoto. It is the largest lemur species on the island and the star attraction of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

The indri, which local people call babakoto. It is the largest lemur species on the island and the star attraction of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

The indri, which local people call babakoto. It is the largest lemur species on the island and the star attraction of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A sifaka. Sifakas can be distinguished from indris by their long tails. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A collared sifaka. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A red-ruffed lemur in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A mouse lemur at the Kirindy reserve, a privately managed forest close to the city of Morondava on the west coast. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

The fossa is the only predator on the island. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A fork-marked lemur at Kirindy. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A Parson’s chameleon, part of the collection of exotic chameleons at the Peyrieras Reptile Reserve, which is west of Andasibe. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A panther chameleon, part of the collection of exotic chameleons at the Peyrieras Reptile Reserve, which is west of Andasibe. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A leaf-tailed gecko, indistinguishable from the tree trunk to which it seems stuck. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A colourful chameleon resident of the Peyrieras Reptile Reserve. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A panther chameleon. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A panther chameleon. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

Another chameleon resident of Peyrieras. Madagascar has more than 150 species of chameleons, not to mention geckos, newts, garden lizards and related species. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

Another chameleon resident of Peyrieras. Madagascar has more than 150 species of chameleons, not to mention geckos, newts, garden lizards and related species. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

A tomato frog, also at the Peyrieras Reptile Reserve. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

Madagascar leaf snake. The island has no venomous snakes. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

Lemurs are found nowhere else but in Madagascar and the nearby Comoro Islands, but with their habitats shrinking as land is diverted for human needs, these fascinating primates are becoming a rare sight even in Madagascar’s national parks.
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