Today (October 26) is World Lemur Day and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is celebrating at the Zoo and across the globe in Madagascar.
In Madagascar, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is partnering with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP) for reforestation events on Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27. On Friday, the organizations will plant 18 thousand trees in six different sites in Madagascar, including thousands of native trees. On Saturday, staff, volunteers and graduate students from the University of Antananarivo will celebrate with surrounding schools and local communities in Ambolotara village.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium visitors will be able to contribute directly to conservation efforts for lemurs by donating at any register on Zoo grounds. All donations will be sent to the MBP.
Through its Facebook page, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium will feature six Facebook live programs:
• 10 a.m. – Lemurs of the Past: Species Now Extinct
Learn about extinct lemur species, many of which were much larger than the lemur species of today.
• 10:30 a.m. – Behind the Aye-Aye
The Zoo’s Conservation Genetics department has been studying the aye-aye in its natural habitat for the past ten years, the longest running project of its kind. Staff will talk about the species and the importance of aye-aye conservation.
• 11:30 a.m. – Diadema Sifaka and the Translocation Program
Dr. Edward Louis, director of the Conservation Genetics department at Omaha’s Zoo and Aquarium, has been working with Madagascar National Parks and the Malagasy Forestry Service to re-establish diademed sifakas in the Analamazaotra Special Reserve. Dr. Louis will talk about the project.
• 1:30 p.m. – Meet the Red-Ruffed Lemur Infants
Viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at training with the red-ruffed lemurs born earlier this year.
• 2:30 p.m. – Greater Bamboo Lemur: The Value of Long-Term Monitoring
Learn about the tools used to track greater bamboo lemurs in the forest and the conservation challenges encountered when animals and people rely on the same resources.
• 3 p.m. – Reforestation in Madagascar
The Zoo and MBP’s reforestation efforts, funded by Arbor Day Foundation and DHL, focus on replanting habitats while sustainably benefitting the surrounding communities. To date, they have planted a total of 2,116,593 trees. Take a closer look at a large-scale reforestation program.
According to the IUCN, 73 percent of all lemur species are listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered, which makes lemurs the most threatened group of mammals in the world. All species of lemurs only naturally occur in Madagascar.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in collaboration with Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, has been conducting lemur conservation in Madagascar for more than 20 years. In that time, they have discovered 24 lemur species. For more information, visit OmahaZoo.com/Conservation-Genetics.