Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Bronx Zoo is now home to three new lemur babies.
In late March, two ring tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and one brown collared lemur (Eulemur collaris) were born. The babies have made their public debut in the zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit. The lemurs reside in a naturalistic habitat depicting the Malagasy Spiny Forest. With them in this habitat are critically endangered radiated tortoises and several bird species including vasa parrots, red fodies, grey-headed lovebirds, and ground doves.
The Bronx Zoo has had tremendous success breeding lemurs as part of Species Survival Plans, cooperative breeding programs designed to enhance the genetic viability of animal populations in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Visitors hoping to sneak a peek at the babies must look closely as young lemurs remain close to their mothers, often nestled in their fur.
Lemurs are only found in one wild place – the African island nation of Madagascar. WCS works dilligently to save lemurs as well as their disappearing wild habitat. Human activities such as slash-and-burn agriculture and charcoal production are destroying the habitats of wild lemurs, leaving them highly vulnerable. Both species of lemurs are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC).
Since its opening in 2008, the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar! educates visitors about the country’s incredible biodiversity and the work WCS and partners are doing to save wildlife in wild places.