Centre ValBio (CVB), Stony Brook University’s research and conservation facility in Madagascar, will hold its first annual Save the Lemurs event hosted by co-chairs Patricia Wright and Eric Trepanier on Tuesday, December 11, at The Explorers Club in New York City.
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Patricia Wright is a MacArthur Fellow and world-renowned primatologist who is committed to preserving Madagascar’s endangered forests. She is the first female winner of the Indianapolis Prize for conservation (2014) and founder of Centre ValBio. Dr. Wright was the driving force behind the creation of Ranomafana National Park, a 106,000-acre World Heritage Site in southeastern Madagascar, home to many endangered species, including 15 lemur species, five of which are critically endangered.
“Lemurs are on the brink of extinction and their habitats are quickly disappearing,” said Dr. Wright. “Only a short window of time remains where we can join together to effect change in Madagascar and encourage the preservation of this unique region and the beautiful species within. The future of Madagascar’s forests and its lemurs is in our hands and it is imperative to support conservation efforts now.”
Eric Trepanier is a healthcare executive who became passionate about lemurs and Madagascar when he and his wife, Angela, visited in 2014. Their life-changing experience at CVB ignited their interest in lemurs and reinforced their desire to support conservation in Madagascar.
“Save the Lemurs is a great step forward in helping these beautiful animals not only survive, but thrive in their natural environment,” said Dr. Trepanier.
All fundraising from the event will support programs at Centre ValBio including:
- Tree Corridors: Many critically endangered bamboo lemurs are stranded in small and degraded forest fragments. Tree and bamboo corridors will be planted to connect forest fragments to enable genetic exchange.
- Lemur Tracking Collars: CVB scientist will track lemurs daily in their natural habitat to understand how lemurs are adapting to their changing landscapes.
- Studying Newly Discovered Golden Bamboo Lemurs (GBL): There are fewer than 1,000 GBLs in the wild. Research on a newly discovered population will focus on their needs for survival.
- Education: Malagasy children are the future of the country. Raising their awareness and educating them on lemurs’ value will help protect the future of lemurs.
If you can’t make it to the event, please consider making a donation here.
With 111 species, all native only to Madagascar, lemurs are one of the most diverse primate groups on Earth. Yet lemurs are also the most threatened mammal group in the world due to hunting and intensive deforestation. If the remaining forests are not protected, 20 percent of lemur species may become extinct in the next three decades.