Martin Clunes: The Lemurs of Madagascar

(Rochester, New York) – The country and island of Madagascar, located off the Southeastern coast of Africa, contains some of the most diverse wildlife in the world, including 10,000 unique trees and flowers. It is also the main habitat for most species of lemurs, primates that have been able to flourish on the isolated landmass until humans arrived around 2,000 years ago. With 17 species already extinct, international experts and Madagascar locals alike are taking steps to help ensure the existence of the lemur, which is still in great jeopardy. Martin Clunes: The Lemurs of Madagascar, premiering Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT 21.1/cable 1011 and 11), follows Doc Martin’s Martin Clunes into the rainforests of Madagascar to be one of the privileged few to see different species of these endangered animals. Hunted for their protein by locals, and losing their natural habitats to deforestation, lemurs are scarce and hard to find, creating a cause for adventure for Clunes and his guides.

Cameras follow Clunes to Andasibe, a small village near which one can find the largest type of lemur, the black and white indri. Clunes travels deeper still to catch sight of the bamboo lemur, one of the species closest to extinction. Local conservationists walk Clunes through the illegal traps poachers set up for lemurs, and the locals’ belief that killing a lemur could bring a curse on the culprit. In the Lac Alaotra region, Clunes trudges through marshes to find the only species of wetland lemurs. Clunes discovers efforts to restore the lemurs’ habitats by planting trees, or repopulate the forests by releasing captive lemurs into the wild.

Martin Clunes: The Lemurs of Madagascar captures the fragility of a unique melting pot of biodiversity in which lemurs struggle to survive against the threats or development and the elements, but which can be salvaged with the combined determination of the surrounding communities and international responsiveness.

Pictured: Martin Clunes
Credit: APT 



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