Madagascar’s Elections and the Future of Lemur Conservation
LCF is anxiously awaiting the results of Madagascar’s second round of voting in the first presidential election since a military coup in 2009, and the impact a new government will have on conservation and sustainability in a country that is one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. Rare, endangered Mongoose Lemurs (Eulemur mongoz), and Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) twins born at LCF’s Myakka City Lemur Reserve while future in the wild is uncertain.
A survey by the IUCN determines that lemurs are the most endangered primates in the world, with all but 9 of the 103 known species of lemurs in danger of becoming extinct in the next 20 years.
Four lemur infants were born at the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s Myakka City Lemur Reserve. Two rare Mongoose Lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) and a pair Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) twins.
The births at LCF are particularly significant to the conservation of Mongoose lemurs, which are an endangered species. Gina Ferrie, the Species Survival Plan Coordinator and Population Biologist for mongoose lemurs, made this comment about the birth of one infant: “Silvio’s birth is important because he comes from a recommended breeding pair which was made because they had not produced offspring before, and are genetically valuable to the population.”
Only 3 Mongoose lemurs were born in the United States this year at AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) facilities participating in managed breeding programs. Two were born at the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s Myakka City Lemur Reserve. The third infant was born to a Mongoose lemur female from the LCF collection that traveled to another AZA institution for a recommended breeding match.
Two other infants were born in LCF’s forests. Ansell, a Ring-tailed lemur, gave birth to twins in the forest and reared her infants while leading her troop, much like lemurs living in the wild. This is a significant milestone in lemur conservation because Ring-tailed lemurs, despite their success breeding in captivity, are now listed as vulnerable because of habitat loss and illegal poaching, according to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).
Manager of Communications and Development