Target: Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana, Prime Minister of Madagascar
Goal: Increase conservation efforts to keep Madagascar’s fossa population from dying out.
The fossa, Madagascar’s largest carnivorous mammal, has been dying out at alarming rates due to excessive habitat loss and hunting. These catlike animal, closely related to the mongoose family, are largely unheard of in comparison to the lemurs that they prey on. As a result, the majority of primatological research in Madagascar has been focused on the lemur, leaving the fossa largely neglected in terms of both scientific study and conservation efforts. The species has been steadily dying out while remaining under the radar, with population numbers dropping by more than 30 percent over the course of the last three generations. Only by raising awareness about this animal’s existence can we show the government of Madagascar the necessity of expending further resources to protect the fossa from extinction.
The fossa is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which predicts that the population will continue to decline by another 30 percent or more over the next three generations. It is likely, however, that the species is in even greater trouble than believed; according to scientist and fossa specialist Mia-Lana Lührs, “an intensive fossa survey all over Madagascar” is needed to know just how many fossas survive. Fossas require a wide range of undisturbed forest to live and hunt, and the current frequency of logging and deforestation in Madagascar has severely impacted their habitat. As a result, many fossas are encroaching on local villages in search of chickens to eat, and are killed off by the inhabitants who view them as a threat.
The destruction and fragmentation of the fossa’s habitat needs to stop, and people need to learn about the value of the species as an essential part of the ecosystem that needs to be preserved. Sign the petition below to demand better protection of Madagascar’s forests and encourage the creation of awareness programs to help keep the fossa from dying out.
Dear Prime Minister Solonandrasana,
Habitat loss and hunting have been killing off Madagascar’s largest carnivorous mammal, the fossa, at an alarming rate. Many people have never heard of this catlike, mongoose-related species, as the majority of scientific study and conservation efforts have been focused on its prey, the lemur. As a result, fossa populations have been steadily declining behind the scenes. The species requires a large, undisturbed forest area to survive, and the increase of logging and deforestation in Madagascar has severely impacted the fossa’s habitat.
According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, fossas have a vulnerable listing that requires more research to prove just how serious the problem really is. The species has declined by at least 30 percent, and probably more, over the last three generations, and is predicted to decline by at least this amount over the next three. This decline is only exacerbated by hunters and residents of local villages, who view fossas as a threat to their livestock. In reality, fossas only approach these residential areas because they have been driven out of their natural environments and need to seek out food in other places.
I am urging you to help inform the public about the value of this species through awareness programs, and to encourage further scientific study about the condition of fossa populations. Please take action to increase conservation efforts and save this important species from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Arctic Wolf