Target: Hery Rajaonarimampianina, Chief of State of Madagascar
Goal: Protect the aye-aye from extinction.
The aye-aye is the strangest looking primate on the planet. Its nocturnal habits make it extremely hard to study and track. While its exact numbers are unknown, its population has been greatly declining due to habitat loss, hunting, and persecution based on superstitions. They aye-aye is found only in Madagascar and is currently thought to be the largest nocturnal primate. The aye-aye also plays a very important biodiversity role by filling in for species that don’t exist on the island. Conservation efforts need to increase in order to save these unique creatures.
Habitat loss is the biggest threat to primates living in Madagascar. Over 80 percent of Madagascar is now prairie, leaving the aye-aye struggling to survive. Other primates are in danger of losing their habitats, but the aye-aye is also facing superstitions as a threat. Many people living in villages in Madagascar believe that aye-ayes are bad omens. Because of this, they are often killed on sight, a practice which is believed to prevent bad luck. It is crucial to use education to dispel these superstitions and protect the aye-ayes. Through education, people may come to protect the creature rather than execute it.
Aye-ayes are believed to be the only living primates in the family Daubentoniidae. If they were to go extinct, we would lose the last living species in this very old family. Its only relative, the Giant Aye-aye, went extinct roughly 1,000 years ago, leaving the aye-aye as the only extant member and a species worth protecting.
The aye-aye numbers have been in decline for many years. Madagascar is the only place that these unique creatures can be found, but without intensified efforts in conservation, we may lose this nocturnal primate. Please sign the petition below to help save these unusual yet amazing creatures.
Dear Hery Rajaonarimampianina,
Madagascar is the home to some of the world’s rarest creatures. The aye-aye is one of the most unusual creatures on the island of Madagascar and possibly the world. Revered by some and feared as a bad omen by others, these creatures are in need of protection. Conservationists have documented a steady decline in the aye-aye population, habitat loss and hunting having driven these nocturnal primates to near extinction. Aye-ayes are the only known living animal in the Daubentoniidae family. They also fill the ecosystem roles of squirrels and woodpeckers, neither of which live in Madagascar. Aye-ayes are thus crucial to maintaining biodiversity, and can be found nowhere else in the world.
In order to save the aye-aye, I urge you to implement educational programs that focus on promoting the importance of wildlife preservation. Education plays a key role in the conservation of the aye-aye by involving the local people and getting them to care about the wildlife they share a home with. I also urge you to make it a punishable crime to kill an aye-aye and enforce the protection of the already existing wildlife parks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Nomis-Simon