Madagascar fires, 2015 (credit: NASA)
Madagascar is one of the world's centers of biodiversity. Myriads of endemic species are found on the island located off the east coast of Africa and nowhere else on Earth. Such hotspots are critical to conservation and species survival.
Among the most unique creatures on Madagascar are its indigenous primates, the lemurs. Lemurs are considered critically endangered due to poaching, illegal land clearing, habitat destruction, and fires. Wildlife researcher and conservationist Erik Patel, has focused his attention on the plight of one lemur species, the Silky Sifaka. Its rainforest habitats in northeast Madagascar are threatened by illegal logging. Demand for tropical timbers is driving an international market for rare hardwoods including rosewood, ebony, and pallisandre which could eliminate the rare lemurs from their last habitats. A short film on this illegal timber trade was produced for the BBC.
BBC World News: Illegal Rosewood Logging in Madagascar from Erik R Patel on Vimeo.