Lemur Conservation is something that is close to my heart, especially since they a highly endangered species.
Lemurs are wonderful primates, intelligent, active and not to mention beautiful. Lemur conservation may not be a cause that you hear of often, but it is a worthy cause that needs our attention today. Lest we lose this wonderful primate to extinction. So what can you do to help this worthy cause?
How YOU can help to conserve lemurs
I. “Adopt” a Lemur
- You can symbolically adopt a lemur of your choosing from Lemur Conservation Organization
- You can also adopt a lemur through the Duke Lemur Center.
- These lemurs are used in non-invasive research, captive breeding programs, and educational outreach. You can ‘adopt’ your special little lemur while someone else does the literal dirty work.
II. Avoid ‘tourist-traps’ while traveling in Madagascar
- Do NOT pay to take selfies with lemurs at hotels or restaurants. Especially where these pet lemurs are typically restrained with a rope around their stomach.
- An interactive map of locations in Madagascar where pet lemurs have been previously documented – it’s estimated that more than 28,000 lemurs have been taken from the wild since 2010 for pets)
- Paying for these pictures only supports this horrendous behavior. These lemurs live in poor conditions. They were likely captured from the wild (which involves killing the mother). And probably won’t survive past the age of sexual maturity when they become aggressive with their owners.
- If you see a pet lemur, you can anonymously report it
- Check out the Madagascar Ecotour offered by Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel.
- Read why ecotourism is arguably the most promising way to protect lemurs in their natural habitat
- If you decide to see lemurs on your own in Madagascar, be sure to check out these tips to help you with the logistics!
IV. Holistic conservation approaches
- Many organizations work with the local community to help save the lemurs. We need the people to protect the lemurs and the people need the lemurs to keep their forests healthy.
- Duke’s SAVA project is just one great example of conservation work going on in Madagascar
- National Geographic Student Expeditions runs an incredible volunteer program for high schoolers for a few weeks in July
- Centre ValBio research station in Ranomafana is also working with locals to build and foster an appreciation and understanding of their forest and lemurs
- Consider donating or even volunteering for one of these lemur conservation programs listed above or elsewhere!
- If you are uncertain whether a foundation or volunteer opportunity is legitimate, feel free to reach out to me.