LCF participates with several AZA Species Survival Plans, or SSP’s. ‘The mission of an AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population withinAZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and approved non-member participants.’ – AZA READ MORE HERE about AZA Specis Survival Plans
The goal of SSP’s is successful breeding of lemurs, some of the most endangered species in the world. Each lemur is genetically precious, and annual plans consider many important criteria like the available lemurs, their health and location, and each species conservation status. The plans pair lemurs with the best ‘matches’ for each species. A 2013 SSP breeding recommendation is Red Ruffed lemurs, like these two at the LCF Myakka City Reserve. In these pictures, LCF team members are moving 2 red ruffed lemurs from an enclosure to the forest where they can ‘free-range.’
A ‘craisin’ in the crate can be sufficient motivation for a lemur that is trained to enter a crate…
other times a little more coaxing is required.
Both lemurs are safely crated and ready for the move to the forest dome habitats.
The trip from the enclosures to the forests takes a few minutes on foot. This pair of red ruffed lemurs, Tsikey and Ravena, arrive at the forest dome where more LCF team members are ready and waiting.
The crate doors are opened, and Tsikey and Ravena are free to roam inside the dome habitats and to enjoy our native Florida forests.
They can take their time and explore their new surroundings. The forests are enclosed and staff undertake safety inspections daily. Each lemur wears a radio collar for tracking. LCF animal husbandry staff visit each dome every day to observe and document every lemur’s health and well-being.
Lemurs in the LCF Myakka City Reserve forest live in a multi-species habitat that mimics their home in the forests of Madagascar. You can see red ruffed and ring-tailed lemurs in this photo.
The domes provide an interior environment, the open air enclosure area, and free access to the forests. LCF is one of few reserves where lemurs can free-range. The reserve has achieved important successes with Species Survival Plans, including births in the forest. We are working to increase our effectiveness and results with each of our breeding pairs in their forest home.