19 Apr 2011:
Richard Branson Proposes
Lemur Reserve on Private Caribbean Island
Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire head of the Virgin Group of companies, is planning to establish a controversial reserve for threatened ringtailed lemurs
on a 124-acre island he owns in the Caribbean, about 8,000 miles away from primates’ native Madagascar. Branson, who has been involved in other
projects to protect endangered species, says efforts to protect the lemur on Madagascar have been hampered by rampant deforestation, and he hopes an island colony on Moskito — an island he bought for £10 million ($16 million) in 2007 — will provide a “safe haven” for the species. “We brought in experts from South Africa to Moskito Island and they said it would be perfect,” Branson told the Guardian
, saying that if lemurs thrived there they could eventually be reintroduced on Madagascar. While British Virgin Islands officials have approved the transport of 15 lemurs from zoos in Canada, Sweden, and South Africa to Moskito, some wildlife experts have warned that the potential harm of introducing lemurs to a new environment could outweigh the benefits. Others have reserved judgment for now. “It could be a brilliant or terrible idea but we just don’t know yet,” said Penelope Bodry-Sanders, founder of the Florida-based Lemur Conservation Foundation.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
A 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner captures stunning images of wild salmon runs in Alaska. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.