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Coronavirus disrupts global fight to save endangered species

This 2019 photo provided by Noel Rowe and Centre ValBio shows a golden bamboo lemur in Madagascar. Conservation isn’t work that can simply be dropped for a while, then picked up again, “because it depends so much on relationships with people and local communities," said Patricia Wright, a biologist at Stony Brook University who has spent three decades building a program to protect Madagascar’s lemurs, big-eyed primates that live only on the island. (Noel Rowe/Centre ValBio via AP)
This 2019 photo provided by Noel Rowe and Centre ValBio shows a golden bamboo lemur in Madagascar. Conservation isn’t work that can simply be dropped for a while, then picked up again, “because it depends so much on relationships with people and local communities," said Patricia Wright, a biologist at Stony Brook University who has spent three decades building a program to protect Madagascar’s lemurs, big-eyed primates that live only on the island. (Noel Rowe/Centre ValBio via AP)(© N Rowe | AP)
Published: Jun. 6, 2020 at 3:24 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic is hampering the ability of scientists to protect threatened species and habitats, from South American rainforests to African savannahs.

In Brazil, scientists monitoring the devastating impacts of yellow fever on endangered golden lion tamarins are unable to work in closed forest reserves. In Guatemala, indigenous communities that monitor rainforests are struggling with one of the worst fire seasons in three decades — fires deliberately set to clear land for illegal cattle ranching — as government resources are diverted to pandemic relief efforts.

And in Madagascar, a three-decade-old program to protect lemurs, supported largely by tourism, is expecting no revenue through the end of the year.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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