Parents and Madagascar fans might be familiar with these ferocious predators On this Wildlife Wednesday, we learn about fossas!
Parents and Madagascar fans might be familiar with these ferocious predators—as the main bad guy for the well-loved children’s movie, their presence was normally heralded by warning calls and much scrambling by the good guys.
However, there’s a lot more to these strange creatures than scaring lemur colonies and speaking in third person. On this Wildlife Wednesday, we set the record straight about the fossa.
These weasel-like island dwellers can be found high in the trees and along the floors of Madagascar’s forests.
Why are they threatened?
Unfortunately, much like their lemur prey, fossas face a number of threats that are having a serious impact on their population numbers. Currently, they’re classified as “vulnerable” by the IUCN, though they’ve been considered to be endangered in the not-so-distant past.
These carnivorous creatures depend on the forests of their island home as most of their prey is forest-dwelling. However, swaths of Madagascar’s forests are being lost to agricultural land for crops, pasture for livestock, and logging practices.
Fossas are also considered pests by local people, since they’re known to occasionally make a quick snack of domestic fowl. They’re often the target of hunting parties hoping to eradicate the animals from surrounding forests.
Finally, they face competition from species that have been introduced to the island and are known to fall prey to feral dog packs.