Wiley is a true showman. When we let the lemurs outside, our younger black-and-white ruffed lemur takes to the treetops. Wiley’s loud calls let everyone know that he’s around! He enthusiastically participates in training and seems to enjoy showing off his skills at leaping, balancing and hanging. Wiley turns 11 years old May 4. Bananas are his favorite food!
I want to help lemurs! What can I do?
Lemurs belong to the suborder prosimians—the most diverse group of primates. All lemur species are endemic to Madagascar; they exist nowhere else on Earth. Unfortunately, they are also the most threatened group of mammals on the planet; 94% of lemur species face extinction.
One of the major causes of lemur population declines in Madagascar is deforestation. More than 50% of Madagascar’s forests have been destroyed in the last 50 years due to slash and burn agriculture, illegal trade in exotic hardwoods like ebony and rosewood, and coal and gem mining. The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers ring-tailed lemurs endangered and black-and-white ruffed lemurs critically endangered due to these threats.
The good news is that you can help lemurs! Be an informed consumer; only purchase products from Madagascar that are certified as sustainably sourced.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about our lemurs’ personalities and how you can contribute to their conservation. We can’t wait for the Zoo to be able to safely reopen so everyone can see them!
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.Our whole team works diligently to care for our animals and keep you connected to the Zoo. With your support, our conservation mission continues. If you can, please join us in this important work by making a donation today. On behalf of the animals we care for and work to protect: thank you.