A pair of red-bellied lemurs has arrived at the zoo
More than a hundred species of lemurs are found in Madagascar, of which the vast majority is being threatened with extinction in the short or medium term. Lemurs now hold a sad record: that of the most endangered group of mammals in the world. As part of our mission to conserve endangered species, we have decided to host a new species among the representatives of this highly threatened taxon in the wild that requires from zoos a strong commitment in its conservation.
Thus a pair of red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer) took possession of the island located behind the colobus enclosure close to the monkey building. The transfer of the male from Paris Zoo and the female from Parken Zoo was recommended by the coordinator of the European Breeding Program for this species.
Red-bellied lemurs live in tropical rainforests from eastern Madagascar and feed on fruits, flowers, nectar and leaves. Male and female are distinguished by the color of their belly (uniformly reddish in males, creamy-white in females) and the presence of white patches forming “teardrops” around the eyes: very pronounced in the male, they are almost non-existent in the female.
The species is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Its numbers are decreasing due to deforestation and poaching. Living within several protected areas of Madagascar among which Ranomafana National Park, red-bellied lemurs are also found on Helpsimus’ conservation site located only a few kilometers away from the park. Helpsimus, whose work has been funded by La Palmyre Zoo for many years, has started to habituate a small family of red-bellied lemurs who shares its territory with a group of greater bamboo lemurs. Helpsimus also plans to carry out an inventory of the species on its entire study site in the months to come.