Friday, September 6, 2013

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo's Commitment to Conservation - Madagascar

I am still in Madagascar after leaving almost immediately for the field after the ZACC conference, but I wanted to send you a few photos from our work up north with the Northern sportive lemur, Lepilemur septentrionalis.  The northern sportive lemur is considered Madagascar's most critically endangered lemur and arguably the most endangered primate in the world with less than 50 individuals remaining in basically one tiny location near the northern port city of Antsiranana.  Its major threat is the loss of habitat through the production of charcoal. Since the Northern sportive lemur cannot be kept in captivity, the preservation of this species is depending on the work of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and its partners, the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP's website is, and Susie's McGuire's international education NGO, Conservation Fusion (CF's website is Besides monitoring the lemurs in the forest of Montagne des Fran├žais, we are collaborating and supporting reforestation efforts and other programs aimed at providing alternative resources besides charcoal such as bio-fuel briquettes and fuel efficient rocket stoves designed to burn these circular shaped briquettes.

I have attached a couple of photographs of the MBP's team holding a sedated male Northern sportive lemur that we have placed a radio-collar to help us follow him, along with two of the posters that the primary schools of Des Moines made for the MBP and Conservation Fusion for the ZACC conference.  We loved the posters and wanted to send the Des Moines primary schools a couple of photos showing that their posters are now on the other side of the world in Madagascar, being taken around to show the Malagasy primary schools children located in area of our four permanent project sites that US kids are thinking about Madagascar and their wondrous biodiversity.

Thank you again for doing a fantastic job of hosting the ZACC conference in Des Moines. Blank Park's ZACC got us revitalized and ready to get back to the field.  It was such a pleasure visiting Blank Park Zoo, and it is great to know about the wonderful things your zoo is doing just around the corner from Omaha.

Best wishes, 
Ed Louis
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

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