Indri, the largest lemur
As a professional travel photographer, Wolf has traveled to over 160 countries around the world. We continue the countdown of his top 10 favorite destinations.
Wolfgang’s Top 10 #4 Madagascar
by Michelle Alten
As whispers of morning sun seeped through the slats of Wolf’s thatched hut, he heard them: the long eerie calls of indri. Wolf was on the fringe of Perinet Reserve in Madagascar. The indri, the largest of the island’s lemurs, wailed back and forth, their voices piercing the sleepy dawn as though they were warning that morning had come. It was the early 1980s and Wolf had come to the island for the first time. By day, he stomped through the forests of Madagascar in search of lemurs, chameleons, frogs and other island denizens.
As he traveled around the vast island off the southeast coast of Africa, he was astonished by the numbers of endemic species. A range of ecosystems, including rainforests, semi-arid spiny forests, grasslands, and dry deciduous forests provided ideal habitats for animals that couldn’t be found anywhere else on earth. Wolf wandered the rainforests, photographing indri lemurs, with their panda-like coats, and the elfin mouse lemur, no bigger than a kitten. In the more arid spiny forests he found ring-tailed lemurs straddling trees or scampering along the forest floor. Boldly colored chameleons, slinking through the tropical vegetation, became ideal subjects for his photography. Madagascar’s unusual ecosystems and some 150,000 endemic wildlife species quickly made the island one of Wolfgang’s favorite places.
Since his early jaunts to Madagascar, Wolf has witnessed an ongoing battle between man and nature on the island. Rainforest, cut down and used for charcoal for cooking, has rapidly disappeared with the deforestation leading to erosion. For Wolf, Madagascar became a place to document the struggle as well as the determined efforts to save the forests. The subject is so intriguing that he will return to lead a photo tour in September 2012.
On Wolf’s early trips, he stayed in tipsy huts with dirt floors and no running water. Today, while some accommodations are simple, there are also comfortable resorts that appeal to adventure travelers.
What is being done to preserve the forests and habitat of Madagascar?
This article talks about a loan from the World Bank aimed at protecting the habitat and biodiversity in Madagascar.
This article explains how the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) seeks to protect forests in Madagascar.
Poverty in Madagascar
Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries. This article talks about how the skyrocketing price of rice has impacted Madagascar’s people.