Lemurs & Spies is a fascinating and moving documentary centered on the beautiful and rugged, rainforest-clad park of Marojejy, in North-east Madagascar.
This wildlife-rich rainforest is home to one of the world’s rarest primates, the critically endangered Silky Sifaka, which has a global population of some 300 individuals. The program details the intensive studies primatologist Erik Patel has been conducting for more than a decade under often spartan conditions in this remote wilderness, part of the Rainforests of Atsinanana, a World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, these rainforests are now on the UNESCO’s Endangered World Heritage Site List .
During his time at Marojejy, Erik Patel – in combination with a dedicated network of conservationists and NGOs - collaborated on a campaign aimed at trying to stop the logging of endemic rosewoods and ebonies from the island’s protected areas. Patel escorted many journalists and television crews around north-eastern Madagascar, with a view to increasing international awareness to the threats facing Madagascar’s fragile remaining forests, where new discoveries are still being made all the time.
It is thanks to the work of Erik Patel and others working in north-east Madagascar’s Sava region such as Eric Mathieu – who photographed the Silky Sifakas – that this enigmatic lemur stands a better chance of survival. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, the program promises to be memorable with some stunning visuals.
Watch Lemurs & Spies on BBC2, 15 March 2012 at 8pm