Modeling the distribution of lemur species and climate impact

Climate change is expected to reduce lemur habitat by more than 60%

The objective of this project was to produce scenarios of evolution of biodiversity in Madagascar under the joint effects of climate change and deforestation. This work should initially be done on all the species present in Madagascar but for reasons of compromise between the availability of the data and the research work, it focused on the analysis of the distribution areas of the group of lemurs.

The results show that climate change is expected to decrease lemur habitat by more than 60% on average. In comparison, deforestation alone would contribute to a 50% decrease. These results mean that if lemurs are unable to tolerate/adapt themselves to climate change, then this latter will be more detrimental to them than deforestation. Consequently, it seems important to keep the most climatically stable sites in priority. We therefore identified these zones of climatic refuges and produced a map at the scale of Madagascar. These results were also analyzed with respect to the current protected area network. It thus appears that more than 55% of the climate refuges are outside the network of protected areas. This highlights the need to further develop the current network of these areas. In addition, 75% of these biodiversity shelters are threatened by deforestation.

These results were compiled in a Biodiversity Atlas produced with the SpeciAtlas package developed within the framework of this project. Three other taxonomic groups have been analyzed and added to the atlas available here:

The results of this work on lemurs are therefore easily transferable to other taxonomic groups as well as to other regions of the world and contribute to decision-making for the maintenance of biodiversity (hot spot current and future, location and management plan of protected areas).