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Meet The Newly Discovered Mouse Lemur Species In Madagascar

Apr 15, 2016 06:30 PM EDT

Three new species of mouse lemurs have been recently described by scientists. These newly discovered species live in South and East of Madagascar.

Madagascar is one place with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It is also home to lemurs and trees that cannot be found in any other place in the world.

According to Science Daily, Scientists from the German Primate Center (DPZ), the University of Kentucky, the American Duke Lemur Center and the Université d'Antananarivo in Madagascar have made this discovery.

Mouse lemurs are small creatures that are found predominantly in Madagascar. These nocturnal primates, all look quite similar to each other. They have their own fur and large eyes. Only using genetic methods can the difference in species be made clear, as described by Phys.org.

The "red list" of the IUCN declared that nearly 100 known species of lemurs are living under the brink of extinction. They also make up the world's most endangered group of mammals.

The reason behind the extinction of these species is deforestation and hunting. Professor Jorg Ganzhorn has been involved in the research and conservation of these lemurs species for many years. Because of his great contribution, the Ganzhorn's mouse lemur was even named after him.

One of the three discovered species, Microcebus manitatra, was found on the "Big Island" and is a subgroup of the Western Madagascar. Meanwhile, the third species is called Microcebus boraha, which is named after the place it was discovered -- the island of Sainte Marie in Malagasy Nosy Boraha.

Many mouse lemurs have been already extinct over the past years. The koala lemur died out years ago. Sarah Federman of Yale University said that the conservation of mouse lemurs, as well as Madagascar's biodiversity, must be an urgent priority.

New Scientist notes that the ecological cycle is also at risk due to the extinction of lemurs. The lemurs have played a huge part in seed dispersal of the Madagascar trees. With the population reducing, many, in turn, are also slowly dying.

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