Lemurs are the most endangered group of mammals on earth. The Duke Lemur Center (DLC) in North Carolina is the largest collection of lemurs outside of their native Madagascar with 250 animals living on 80 acres of Duke Forest. Only 75% of this acreage is fenced to allow the lemurs to free range like wild lemurs. For the DLC to take advantage of all 80 acres, the DLC needs to expand the fencing to allow more lemurs to live in forests. These lemurs are the genetic safety net for future generations
Lemurs are vanishing off the face of the earth. Scientists predict that within 20 years, lemurs will be extinct if drastic measures are not taken. Madagascar is one of the most bio diverse areas as 80% of all the plants and animals found on the island, including lemurs, are found nowhere else in the world. Due to human pressures, 90% of their habitat has been destroyed. At the DLC, we need more space to continue to breed these endangered animals and train them for re-introduction to the wild.
Expanding the forested enclosures at the DLC will allow more lemurs to free-range. Free-ranging allows families of lemurs to live in 6+ acre forested enclosures 24 hours a day. Living like this allows for optimal breeding situations, ideal health and mental fitness by providing a natural setting for lemurs to exhibit natural behaviors. Forested enclosures also provide the training ground for lemurs preparing to return to Madagascar and practice skills they need to survive in the wild
The DLC wants to ensure the continued survival of this primate. By providing natural habitats for these animals to live like they would in the wild, the DLC can breed more lemurs and train them for potential re-introduction to Madagascar which in turn will introduce genetic diversity and increase the population of critically endangered species in selected regions of Madagascar. This will provide the bridge between the lemurs at the DLC and its outreach activities in Madagascar.