Day 23 of #the100dayproject and my #realandendangered project. Today, we are going to talk about an animal with a very fun name: the Aye-aye, which are endemic to the island of Madagascar. Want to know more? 1. They spend their lives in the canopy of the rainforest and avoid coming down to earth. 2. They are the world’s largest nocturnal primate. 3. Due to their unusual appearance they were initially classified as a rodent rather than a primate. 4. They have very thin, long, skeletal-like fingers and by tapping their middle fingers on a branch, can then listen to the reverberations through the wood to locate grubs under the tree-bark. 5. Unlike other primates, their incisors are ever-growing which prevents the teeth wearing down from gnawing on wood and nuts.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists their status as "endangered." What are some of the threats? Locals consider the Aye-aye to be a bad omen, often killing them on sight. They are also hunted for food, killed as a crop pest (due to their love of coconut and lychees) and their habitat faces daily destruction (widespread deforestation for agriculture and development is actually a threat to all of Madagascar's primates). The good news is the Aye-aye currently is a protected species both by law and due to protective areas: Ankarana Reserve, Ranomafana National Park, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and Nosy Mangabe Special Reserve. There are also other conservation organizations doing captive breeding, which is a practice that has saved other animals from extinction (as we learned from the Arabian oryx). #enmlillustration #thesadhappy