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Saving Endangered Lemurs and Their Habitats in Madagascar

Dr. Patricia Wright
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Patricia C. Wright

Patricia Wright and Eric Trepanier to Host NYC Event

Stony Brook & New York, NY; December 5, 2018— On December 11, 2018, conservationists, philanthropists, and animal lovers will assemble at The Explorers Club in New York City to help save lemurs and their habitats in Madagascar, when Stony Brook University’s Centre ValBio (CVB), the premier research and conservation facility in Madagascar, holds its first annual Save the Lemurs event. Hosting the evening are co-chairs Patricia Wright, PhD, and Eric Trepanier, Pharm.D.

A Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Wright is a MacArthur Fellow and world-renowned primatologist specializing in lemur biology committed to preserving Madagascar’s endangered forests. She is the first female winner of the Indianapolis Prize for conservation (2014) and the 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.

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, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Hunting and intensive deforestation have led to lemurs’ imperiled position. Over 90% of natural habitat in Madagascar have been destroyed and this deforestation continues today. If remaining forests are not protected, 20 percent of lemur species may become extinct in the next three decades.

All fundraising from the event will support programs at Centre ValBio including:

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.

About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students, 2,500 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S.News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

Press Contact: 631 632-6310

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