World Lemur Festival returns to Sarasota
The Lemur Conservation Foundation, Ringling College of Art and Design, and New College of Florida are pleased to present the second annual World Lemur Festival in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday, October 12, from 1pm to 4pm.
This free, family-friendly event will feature fun and educational conservation activities for all ages and a juried art exhibition with lemur-themed artwork by students and faculty from the partnering colleges. It will take place at the Alfred R. Goldstein Library on the Ringling College of Art and Design campus.
Students and faculty at Ringling College of Art and Design and New College of Florida are eligible to submit entries for the juried exhibition. To enter, please complete the submission form here: bit.ly/lemur2019.
The World Lemur Festival is a series of international events held throughout the world in October to celebrate lemurs and raise awareness for lemur conservation. Events have been held in Madagascar, Hungary, Japan, Canada, Germany, and cities in the U.S. The Lemur Conservation Foundation has been supporting the World Lemur Festival in Andapa, Madagascar for several years.
On October 13, 2018, we held our first World Lemur Festival in celebration with international events held around the world. Our partner, Ringling College of Art and Design, hosted the free, family-friendly festival at the Alfred R. Goldstein Library. Guests enjoyed many conservation education activities and a talk by Dr. Alison Grand and Dr. Erik Patel, “The Art & Science of Saving Lemurs.” A highlight was a juried art exhibition to illustrate the challenges faced by lemurs. Over 20 submissions were received by faculty and students.
Seacology grant awarded to rebuild at Marojejy National Park
The international environmental organization Seacology has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Mandena/Manantenina communities found near Marojejy National Park’s main entrance. LCF will administer the grant in partnership with Madagascar National Parks (MNP). The funds will help boost ecotourism, a primary objective of the IUCN’s Lemur Action Plan, by supporting repairs to Camp 1, also called Camp Mantella, which was badly damaged by Cyclone Enawo in 2017. Camp Mantella is the most visited tourism and research site in the SAVA region. Tourist visits to Marojejy have fallen sharply in recent years. Nearly 1,500 people visited in 2015 and, in 2018, only about 1,100. Seacology’s grant will also support several local communities and MNP to increase intensive forest monitoring activities with LCF in Marojejy, where some illegal vanilla and rice plantations have been found inside Marojejy near the park entrance.
Supporting graduate research in environmental education
Our Sambava team, Louis ‘Joxe’ Jaofeno, Madagascar Program Manager, and Harisaina ‘Arnaud’ Joel, Madagascar Program Manager Assistant, have been hosting Kylie Sorenson, a Masters Student in Primate Conservation from Oxford Brookes University.
For her environmental education research, Kylie has led and evaluated Malagasy student trips to Marojejy National Park, one of the areas where we focus our work, to better assess the impact of these trips on student attitudes, knowledge, and behavior. Little environmental education research has previously been conducted in the SAVA region.
We are honored to partner with Mr. Desiré Rabary, a famous Malagasy conservationist who founded and manages Antanetiambo Nature Reserve. He also plays an important role as an educator for these student trips.
Where are they now?
Currently in Madagascar, Dr. Erik Patel, LCF Conservation & Research Director, attended the 56th Annual Congress of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC2019) and had a surprise and the pleasure of seeing Thomas Kelly, who recently interned at our reserve. We’re delighted that Thomas provided us with this update about his career path.
“I worked as a Primate Husbandry Intern at LCF in the summer of 2018. I absolutely loved my time there and made friends and memories that will last a lifetime. The experience also opened many doors for me. Recently, I was accepted to the Ecology and Evolution Master’s Program at Stony Brook University and I am super excited to start. I will be working in the Pat Wright Lab and will focus my Master’s project on the Ecology and Behavior of Milne-Edward’s Sifaka in the Ranomafana Rainforest. I am actually writing this in Madagascar as I had the privilege to attend ATBC2019 from July 30 to August 3. I was also able to stay at the Centre Val Bio in the Ranomafana Rainforest after the conference in order to assist with data collection and hike the various trails of the Ranomafana National Park.
To say that these things could not have happened without LCF is an understatement. The experience I gained by working with the various lemur species at the reserve and all the life history aspects of them, not only prepared me for my future as a graduate student, but inspired me to pursue a career in field research. I hope to make it back to LCF soon to thank all the people who helped me get where I am today and, of course, to visit all my favorite lemurs!”
Welcome our infants
LCF celebrated two mongoose lemur births this breeding season. Critically Endangered, at extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, this species is offered a chance of survival through LCF’s vital managed breeding program.
This year’s first infant joined mongoose lemur parents Leena and Merced on April 1. This is their fifth infant since Leena’s arrival at LCF in 2014 on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Continuing the Spanish theme for our mongoose lemurs, we have named this little one Lonzo, meaning “noble and ready.” At three months old, he spends most of his time off of his mother and playing with his family.
Our second infant, born May 13, joined parents Emilia and Bimbini. This is the pair’s sixth infant together, and the 25th mongoose lemur born at LCF. At two months old, he or she is transitioning to riding on Emilia’s back and is starting to explore its surroundings, including older brother Rico. Determining the sex of an infant lemur takes a little time, and we look forward to updating you when we know if our new addition is a boy or a girl—and can then have a name.
Expanding by leaps and bounds