Help Expand Forest Areas for Endangered Lemurs

by Duke Lemur Center
Vetted
Lemurs loving the forest in February
Lemurs loving the forest in February

As of last report, the lemurs were inside and ANXIOUSLY awaiting springtime temperatures.  Thanks to the fact that we live in North Carolina, the lemurs were able to enjoy spring weather through the months of February and March and were able to roam the woods and act like the wild and crazy lemurs that they are! Thank you for supporting our forested areas which allow our lemurs 24 hour access to wild areas through the spring, summer and fall seasons!  Having lemurs live like lemurs should ensure that we have happy lemurs and allows our researchers to observe real lemur behaviors, socializations and family dynamics.

 

After enjoying winter outside, the lemurs came inside for April as it was unseasonably chilly.  Once the temperatures reached 43 degrees in the night, the lemurs were let out again.  They were not terribly thrilled with their brief two week ‘grounding’!

 

At the Duke Lemur Center, we have 9 large forested areas where different groups of lemurs frolic in the forests.  The area that you have supported, provides a family of Coquerel’s sifakas and ring-tailed lemurs with 5.8 acres of forest.

 

The Coquerel’s sifaka family of Euphemia, Lucius, Lupicina, and uncle Thrax has had a major change.  Lucius moved to another family.  We are part of the species survival program and our primary goal with the reproduction of lemurs is to ensure that the lemurs have a genetic safety net. Lucius has very important genetics, therefore he was paired with another female for this mating season.  The sifaka family now consists of Euphemia, Lupicina and uncle Thrax.

 

Little Lupicina has become such an expert leaper and climber. She has become truly independent of her mother and is usually the first one to leave the food.  She relishes time to leap from tree to tree while mama finishes up her food.  Don’t worry, Lupicina has 5.8 acres of food.  Even though she has a short attention span for eating, she never goes hungry!

 

The ring-tailed lemur family of Licinius and Tellus have moved to another enclosure to hang out with ruffed lemurs and another family of Coquerel’s sifakas.  We re-located a pair of ring tailed lemurs into the habitat with the sifaka family.  We have moved Alena and Fritz, the ring-tailed lemurs in with Euphemia’s family.  Alena the ring-tailed lemur was starting to stretch herself trying to dominate many other lemurs.  She has met her match with Euphemia.  Shockingly, they seem to get along very well.  We were starting to think that Alena was a trouble maker.  She just needed a matriarch with similar ‘interests’!

 

This enclosure has become a favorite for our keepers and the relationship between Euphemia and Alena.

 

Your donations, big and small, all help keep this project going and keep the lemurs in the forest.  Thank you for all of your support!

Blizzard Baby snuggling with mama!
Blizzard Baby snuggling with mama!

As of last report, the lemurs were enjoying the forest and living like lemurs!  Thank you for supporting our forested areas which allow our lemurs 24 hour access to wild areas through the spring, summer and fall seasons!  Having lemurs live like lemurs should ensure that we have happy lemurs and allows our researchers to observe real lemur behaviors, socializations and family dynamics.

At the Duke Lemur Center, we have 9 large forested areas where different groups of lemurs frolic in the forests.  The area that you have supported, provides a family of Coquerel’s sifakas and ring-tailed lemurs with 5.8 acres of forest.

Throughout the winter months, the lemurs must come inside when it is colder than 45 degrees Celsius.  Blizzard Jonas blew through here with cold winds, ice and fury.  Luckily we did not receive any damage.  The lemurs were tucked away inside and warm for this storm.  Our incredibly dedicated staff spent days and nights at the lemur center to ensure that everyone was warm, well fed and enriched. 

In addition to ice and cold, the blizzard also brought us a new baby Coquerel’s sifaka!  So far this year, we have had three Coquerel’s sifaka babies.  However, the ‘Blizzard Baby’ did offer some additional excitement!  Please click the following links for the complete story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEYfvHRsA84&feature=youtu.be

http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/01/baby-lemur-delivered-during-snowstorm-saturday

The weather this winter has been up and down and rather confusing, however our lemurs have been able to enjoy many stretches of time in the forest!  Ahhh, this is why we live in North Carolina!  However, we are all looking forward to continued and guaranteed weather to remain outside!  Spring can’t come quickly enough!

In other news here, we are very proud to celebrate that for 50 years, the Duke Lemur Center has advanced scholarship and biological conservation through interdisciplinary research on lemurs – Earth’s most threatened group of mammals. The Center houses the world’s largest and most diverse collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar, and the current colony houses nearly 250 individuals across 18 species.

The scientific endeavors at the DLC span a vast array of disciplines, from behavior and genomics to brain sciences and paleontology. Over its long history, the DLC has brought together scientists, conservation biologists and educators in North Carolina and in Madagascar to understand and to protect these extraordinary animals.  

Thank you for being part of this innovative 50 year journey.  Please help us shape the next 50 years as we continue to Discover, Engage, Protect……… CELEBRATE!

We hope you can save some dates to come and visit us!  Stay tuned!

September 21-23, 2016 - Science Symposium featuring topics ranging from behavioral ecology, to brain sciences, evolutionary ecology, microbial metagenomics, comparative genomics, biomechanics, One Health disease dynamics, aging and demography, biodiversity conservation, paleontology, climate change, comparative physiology, speciation genetics, and sensory biology (the list goes on).  Registration details coming soon.

September 23, 2016 - Celebrate 50 years of the DukeLemur Center.  Gala, auction, dinner and dancing.  Save the date!  Registration details coming soon.

Your donations, big and small, all help keep this project going and keep the lemurs in the forest.  Thank you for all of your support!

Blizzard Baby
Blizzard Baby
A sunny winter day!
A sunny winter day!
Ahhh, to be outside!
Ahhh, to be outside!

Links:

Playtime!
Playtime!

As of last report, the lemurs were enjoying the forest and living like lemurs!  Thank you for supporting our forested areas which allow our lemurs 24 hour access to wild areas through the spring, summer and fall seasons!  Having lemurs live like lemurs should ensure that we have happy lemurs and allows our researchers to observe real lemur behaviors, socializations and family dynamics.

At the Duke Lemur Center, we have 9 large forested areas where different groups of lemurs frolic in the forests.  The area that you have supported, provides a family of Coquerel’s sifakas and ring-tailed lemurs with 5.8 acres of forest.

The Coquerel’s sifaka family of Euphemia, Lucius, Lupicina, and uncle Thrax have had an amazing, adventurous summer filling their bellies with sweet gum tree leaves, mimosa tree leaves and pine needles.  (Yuck, how do they like pine needles?!)  

Little Lupicina became an expert leaper and climber. She is now 9 months old! By last week, she would rarely seek out comfort from Euphemia, her mother.  She became a very independent lemur.  Euphemia was always watching her brave little daughter, even though she was pretending not to. 

Euphemia and Lucius are scheduled to breed again this year.  All of our fingers are crossed for another beautiful baby Coquerel’s sifaka in January.

The ring-tailed lemur family of Licinius and Tellus have staked out a solid corner of the forest and have guarded their area to ensure that no other ring-tailed lemurs will ever threaten their territory.  This area has been very well scent-marked and patrolled. 

Hurricane Joaquin blew through Durham this past weekend with some showers and nothing more exciting.  We are all very grateful for the lack of damage.  All lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center were brought inside to ensure their safety from the storm.  We are a little over-protective of these incredibly endangered animals.  All lemurs hunkered down and made it through the weekend, somewhat unimpressed that they had to be inside while the temperatures were still appropriate for outside living!

The lemurs will be brought inside for the winter once the night time temperatures are 45 degrees.  This is when our keepers work doubly as hard to ensure that all lemurs have plenty of enrichment activities to keep their brains engaged and working. 

Your donations, big and small, all help keep this project going and keep the lemurs in the forest.  Thank you for all of your support!

Fun fun!
Fun fun!

As of last report, we were in freezing temperatures, and here we are in the thick of humidity and summer!  The doors opened in April and the lemurs were OUT.

Euphemia, Lucius, Lupicina, and uncle Thrax all love their adventures in the forest.  They seem to have limitless energy and unbounded enthusiasm each day to explore every inch of their 5.8 acres.  Little Lupicina moved into the forest and adjusted seamlessly.  She is quite bold in her trees, jumping from mom to far away branches (and then back to mom) and acting like Tarzan through the trees. 

A small family of ring-tailed lemurs has joined them in the forest.  Licinius and Tellis have enjoyed their time in the forest as well.  Licinius is one of the Duke Lemur Center’s best researchers.  He has helped our research teams better understand lemur risk assessment and cognitive capabilities.  After many years of impressing us at the computer, Licinius was excited to chill out in the forest.

It took a couple of days for the sifaka and ring-tailed families to sort out a compromise and amicable living coordinates, however, now the families act like old friends and they respect each other tremendously.

Your donations, big and small, all help keep this project going and keep the lemurs in the forest.  Thank you for all of your support!

Euphremia
Euphremia's baby

Looking forward to spring!

 

As we sit here in below freezing temperatures, the lemurs are eagerly awaiting their spring release! All of our NHE-5 inhabitants are rearing to get back out into their 5.8 acre forest playground that supporters like you made possible.  While the lemurs’ winter housing is pleasant, warm, and filled with daily enrichment, nothing can match life free-ranging in the forest!

 

On a warmer note, we are thrilled to report that our female Coquerel’s sifaka, Euphemia, gave birth to a healthy baby girl on January 8, 2015, sired by Lucius! The baby has been named Lupicina, which follows the Roman naming theme for this species.  Euphemia, Lucius, Lupicina, and uncle Thrax are all being introduced back together now.  They all seem to be getting along well and each love taking turns grooming the infant.  The next step will be to introduce the group back to their blue-eyed black lemur enclosure mates.  Provided that all goes well, the group will be free-ranging again by mid-April to early May.

 

There are many steps to getting our enclosures ready for the spring.  Our grounds crew must check the structural integrity of all of the acres of fence line (keep in mind there are 9 enclosures), ensure the electro-net systems are working, remove any trees or branches that might pose an escape hazard, add more gravel to fence lines, and ensure all catch cages are ready to go.  On the animal care side of things, new radio collars and batteries need to be ordered, frequencies matched and placed on animals, veterinary exams performed and introduction to new enclosure mates completed!  Not too much work, right?! Regardless, all of the hours of back breaking labor and tedious observations will be worth it once our staff and visitors see the excitement in the lemurs’ eyes when those gates open the first time in the spring!  Your donations, big and small, all help keep this project going and keep the lemurs in the forest.  Thank you for all of your support!

 

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Organization Information

Duke Lemur Center

Location: Durham, NC - USA
Website: http:/​/​lemur.duke.edu
Project Leader:
Janice Kalin
Durham, NC United States

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