I want to help collared lemurs! What can I do?
Since 1997, collared lemur populations have declined more than 50% in their native Madagascar. The good news is that we can help this endangered species by being conscious consumers.
One of the major threats to these and all lemurs is the pet trade. In order for these animals to thrive, they need proper habitats, social networks, veterinary care, enrichment and nutrition. None of these are easy or inexpensive to provide. The best way to help is by refraining from purchasing a lemur as a pet.
Also, be careful about the content you like and share on social media. Don’t perpetuate the myth that these endangered animals make good pets by sharing posts that depict them as such. Lemurs belong in the wild or in facilities that have the space, staff and amenities necessary to give them the best quality of life.
As the human population grows and people require more resources for land and goods, many animals—including collared lemurs—face habitat loss. In southern Madagascar, timber extraction, slash-and-burn agriculture and the burning of hardwood trees to produce coal have decimated the tropical moist lowland forests and montane forests where they live.
When purchasing furniture, décor and other items, always do your research. Ensure you are not buying products made from materials like ebony and rosewood, which are illegally harvested. Instead, seek out products that are ethically produced and benefit local people.
Last but not least, share Bentley and Beemer’s story with your friends and family! The more we learn about lemurs, the more we come to care about them and take action to ensure their future on our shared planet.
This story appears in the September 2021 issue of National Zoo News. Love lemurs? Read past updates about our ring-tailed lemurs and black-and-white ruffed lemurs!