Tamarind Treats

Have you ever wondered what a lemur hankers for when its stomach grumbles?  Ring-tailed lemurs enjoy a tasty tamarind pod to satisfy those cravings.  Tamarind pods can be found on the Tamarind tree, indigenous to tropical Africa.  The edible pods grow to about 4.5-6 inches in length.  Ring-tailed lemurs easily crack the hard, brown, protective shell with their teeth and lick the fleshy pulp inside.

A healthy, mature tree can produce up to 386 lbs of fruit every year, making it a popular destination for any troop of hungry ring-tailed lemurs.  Tamarind pods not only act as a succulent snack for the lemurs, but humans as well.  Tamarind pods can be found at many ethnic markets and are commonly used in desserts, made into jam, or used as sweeteners to flavor certain snacks such as ice cream.

Happy Endangered Species Day!

Today is #EndangeredSpeciesDay! Did you know lemurs are now the most threatened group of mammals on the earth? With lemurs representing 21% of all primate species and a unique evolutionary lineage found nowhere else, saving lemur populations from this unprecedented decline is the single highest primate conservation priority in the world (Lemurs of Madagascar, A Strategy for their Conservation 2013-2016; Schwitzer et al., 2014).

Although the struggle to save lemurs is one of the greatest conservation challenges the world is facing, there is hope. Through our managed breeding program, the Ako Conservation Education Program, and our projects to increase protection of lemur habitats in Madagascar, LCF is fighting to prevent lemur extinctions.

You can help us answer this urgent call to action by telling your friends and family about the lemur crisis, ensuring that the products you purchase do not contribute to lemur habitat destruction, and by supporting organizations like LCF. By working together we can ensure that lemurs not only play an important role in our evolutionary past but that we will continue to unravel their mysteries and appreciate their beauty well into the future.

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Mongoose Lemur Kikeli Gives Birth

Congratulations! Staff was happily surprised on Easter Sunday, March 27th, when mongoose lemur Kikeli gave birth to a healthy infant! After three weeks baby is already climbing around on mom and investigating its surroundings, including dad Felix and older brother Mateo. While the baby’s curiosity has it moving around more, Kikeli is quick to protect it from possible threats including nosy big brothers and wayward leaves.

Mongoose lemurs are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN’s Red List with an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future. In addition to their important role in conservation, education, and research, Kikeli, Felix, and all the mongoose lemurs at LCF involved in our managed breeding program function as a genetic safety net against possible extinction in the wild.

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LCF’s First Birth of 2016

The Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF) is proud to announce their first birth of the 2016 season- ring-tailed lemur twins! Ring-tailed lemur matriarch Ansell gave birth to two healthy babies on March 20th. These infants mark Ansell’s fourth set of twins in a row! Generally ring-tailed lemurs give birth to one offspring, but twins are possible when ample food is present, as it is in managed populations.

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Ansell and the infants, along with father Yuengling and five older siblings- Rogue, Allagash, Duffy, Goose, and Darwin- are living in one of LCF’s semi-free ranging forests, allowing them to live as naturally as possible.

The ring-tailed lemur is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List with a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future. LCF works with multiple Species Survival Plans (SSPs) to manage its breeding program and is the home of 51 lemurs, including 17 ring-tailed lemurs. Unlike a zoo, LCF is not open to the general public. Interested viewers are encouraged to monitor LCF’s social media channels for updates on these infants and the rest of their lemur colony.

Ikoto’s #Feature Friday

This week’s ‪#‎FeatureFriday‬ is Ikoto! Ikoto (i-coo-too) is a Sanford’s Brown Lemur, the last male Sanford’s Brown lemur in captivity. Ikoto was once one of the best free-ranging lemurs at LCF. Now at 24 years old and completely deaf, Ikoto is living the spoiled life in one of our traditional building enclosures with indoor/outdoor access.

Despite his deafness, Ikoto is one of our most vocal lemurs, always letting out a loud croak when he thinks his food isn’t being delivered fast enough. With his long, flowing mane and velvety nose, Ikoto is one of our most handsome lemurs. He now lives with in a bachelor group with his friend Merlot, a Common brown lemur. The pair can often be found curled up in the sun or talking to their neighbors.

LCF researcher presents thesis

Congratulations to Jessi Rowley for successfully defending her New College of Florida thesis on the activity, home range, and diet of LCF’s semi-free ranging lemurs. Jessi was a research student at LCF for over a year, collecting the data needed for the fulfillment of her research project. Her results gave us a better understanding of how our free-ranging lemurs spend their time and what they’re eating in our forests. Thanks, Jessi, for all your hard work!IMG_0019IMG_0022

Happy #FeatureFriday

Say hello to Common Brown Lemur Pinot, this week’s ‪#‎FeatureFriday‬! Pinot was born in 1997 making him 18 years old. Pinot lives a quiet life on the reserve with his mate Shiraz after being rescued from the pet trade. Shiraz and Pinot are also joined here at LCF by their 4 sons Malbec, Merlot, Muga and Zinfandel.

Pinot can often be found cuddled up with Shiraz or exploring the new enrichment items that are given to him daily.

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To learn more about lemurs visit our website: www.lemurreserve.org

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It’s #WILDWED at Lemur Conservation Foundation!

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Each Wednesday we join over 100 of our Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) colleagues to promote awareness about endangered species, programs, and opportunities to engage with an AZA facility near you.   Today it is LCF’s turn to ‘share!’
Elena at Work

Elena Krapcheva of Madly Video Production made this short video at LCF for our contribution to #WildWed.  CLICK HERE to watch the video on YouTube, or follow us and our AZA friends on Facebook and Twitter – look for your local zoo and aquarium!

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In the video you will see lemurs as they leap and explore their forest habitat at LCF in sunny Myakka City, Florida. The multispecies habitats give the lemurs a naturalistic environment where they can leap from tree to tree, climb around in the canopy, forage for leaves and of course play!

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About Lemur Conservation Foundation: Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF) was established in 1996 by Penelope Bodry-Sanders. LCF is a leader in the conservation and preservation of the primates of Madagascar through programs dedicated to observation oriented research, education, and lemur propagation, with a commitment to infuse art into all of our mission programs. LCF is an American Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited private, 100-acre facility based in Myakka City, Florida. Our current lemur population representing six species thrives in naturalistic free ranging habitats ranging in size from 9 to 13 acres, and smaller enclosures for animals in need of a more specialized environment. LCF is a respected voice for science, conservation, education, art, and lemurs, the iconic image of the conservation challenges and environmental stewardship facing Madagascar and the world.

Learn more about lemurs on our website www.lemurreserve.org