Lemurs are prosimians, a type of primate. Other primates include monkeys, apes and humans. Lemurs are endemic to Madagascar, where they evolved in isolation. Unlike monkeys, lemurs have a moist nose and rely more heavily on their sense of smell. Physically many have especially pointed snouts and all but the largest lemur, the Indri, have long tails. Today we know there are over 100 kinds of lemurs and new species are continuing to be described by scientists.
Lemurs are among the most threatened groups of mammals. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that over 95% of lemurs face extinction in the next 20 years.
The Lemur Conservation Foundation protects 16 species. The conservation status for each of the following species is based on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species (2019):
Critically Endangered – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future
Endangered – Very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future
Vulnerable – High risk of extinction in the wild in the near future
Near Threatened – At risk of being Vulnerable to extinction in the near future
LCF’s Florida Reserve
The Lemur Conservation Foundation’s work to protect and save lemurs in the wild begins at our private reserve in Myakka City, Florida. Five species, many free-ranging in protected forest habitats, offer scientists and students unique research opportunities. Our managed breeding program, following recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, is vital to preserving a genetic safety net for wild lemur populations.
Collared Brown Lemur
Common Brown Lemur
Red Ruffed Lemur
Sanford’s Brown Lemur
Endangered – In Memorium
From our office in the SAVA Region of northeastern Madagascar, LCF works with conservation partners and communities bordering protected lemur habitats. Our work focuses on Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve (ASSR) and Marojejy National Park, together spanning 320 square miles of mountainous rainforest.
Eastern Woolly Lemur
Greater Dwarf Lemur
Photo by Alex Hyde
Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur
Photo by Nick Garbutt
Mittermeier’s Mouse Lemur
Northern Bamboo Lemur
Seal’s Sportive Lemur
Photo by Dr. Erik Patel
White-fronted Brown Lemur