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Madagascar biodiversity under threat as gangs run wild

Roasted lemurs and criminal gangs exporting precious hardwood: this is the sad state of affairs for Madagascar's legendary biodiversity. Since a military coup forced the president to resign in March, conservationists and biologists have watched as loggers have stripped the country's forests and killed its animals for bushmeat.

Much of the foreign aid to Madagascar has been withdrawn and, without a stable government to enforce rules and laws, criminal organisations have been quick to exploit the unique animal and plant life of the country.

"It has been a gold rush for logging gangs and bushmeat hunters to do as much as they can before the government gets organised and puts a stop to it," says Edward Louis, a conservation biologist at the Omaha Zoo, who has been working in Madagascar for a decade.
 
 

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