Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar — March 17, 2023 — After three years, the Centre ValBio (CVB) has been allowed to translocate endangered greater bamboo lemurs from the forest fragment of Ivato, where they are being hunted, to the safety of Ranomafana National Park. It is thought that there may be less than 1000 of these lemurs in existence. In all, 11 lemurs were captured and brought to the Centre ValBio.
The capture team included Malagasy veterinarian Hajanirina Rakotondrainabe, Justin Andrianasolo, assistant veterinarian and CVB members Jean Baptiste Velontsara, Dina Andrianoely, and sifaka techs who all left last Saturday for Ivato Karianga. They made it to the city of Farafangana, but due to challenging road conditions as a result of Cyclone Freddy, the team had to walk for six hours, wading through rivers and slipping in mud, to reach Ivato. They captured four Prolemur simus and the following day another seven: four males (two adults, one subadult and one juvenile) and seven females (five adults, one subadult and one juvenile).
Once captured, the lemurs were put into transport cages and carried out to the vehicles and then to the city of Farafangana where paperwork to move the lemurs needed to be completed.
The lemurs arrived at Centre ValBio and were placed into their own special dorm room temporarily. All 11 lemurs were eating and appeared remarkably unstressed. All have been released into a large quarantine enclosure inside the Ranomafana National Park.
Officials from Antananarivo and the local region of Farafangana came to help Centre ValBio celebrate this event.
“This is an amazing moment,” said Stony Brook University Distinguished Service Professor and Founder and Executive Director, Centre ValBio, Patricia Wright. “Congratulations to the team for arranging for the permits at Ivato, a successful capture, and for building the enclosure inside the Ranomafana National Park. The greater bamboo lemurs are critically endangered, and we hope they will thrive and prosper.”
The 11 lemurs will be released into Ranomafana National Park within a month.
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Note to editors: please find video footage of the greater bamboo lemurs for your use (Courtesy: Johanna Mitra: Centre ValBio/ICTE Communications Officer): Video One Video Two
About the Centre ValBio
Centre ValBio (CVB) works to protect Madagascar’s unique and biologically diverse ecosystems through conservation science and projects that directly benefit the local people. CVB is an international research station situated on the edge of Madagascar’s beautiful and abundant Ranomafana National Park. Under the direction of renowned primatologist and Stony Brook University Distinguished Service Professor Patricia C. Wright, Centre ValBio facilitates hands-on science to sustain the resources and people of Madagascar. In collaboration with the local people, CVB is expanding the frontiers of knowledge while safeguarding biodiversity for future generations.