Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation are delighted to assist in an innovative project to save critically endangered lemurs.
A new school and research centre are almost built as part of an international programme to support the species in their native Madagascar.
YWPF has granted the project £5,000 a year for the next three years to fund a conservation project in an area where slash-and-burn land clearing and hunting have devastated lemur populations.
The project is run by the AEECL, a charitable consortium of European zoos and universities, dedicated to lemur conservation.
It operates in the remote north-west reaches of the Indian Ocean island, collaborating with local communities to raise awareness of the importance of conservation, build schools, fund schoolteachers, restore forests and improve the economy.
A school at Antafiabe, on the edge of the Ankarafa Forest, Sahamalaza National Park, is 65% complete and buildings to house research workers are well advanced and, in a boost to the economy that will encourage local support, there first ecotourists have visited the centre to witness blue-eyed black lemurs in the wild.
“It is great to see the project making progress and already making a positive difference to local life,” says Cheryl Williams, Foundation trustee.
“The scheme’s success is crucial to the survival of the species whose numbers have dipped to below 1,000.
“This project offers great hope for the local community providing work, schools and economic boosts from ecotourism and the combination will promote the importance of conservation to both the lemurs and the people.”
Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s walk-through reserve Lemur Woods has raised funds to help YWPF’s support of lemur projects, it is also home to the red-bellied and ring-tailed lemurs.
If this lemur conservation project has inspired you, pledge your support with a donation to the YWPF today and help make many more projects like this possible.