A unique endangered species due to the loss of habitat. Fuerteventura Oasis Park has witnessed the birth of the first Ring-Tailed Lemur (lemur catta), which represents the third generation in captivity at the zoo. The small primate was born on the early morning of the 1st of April and had a weight of 150 grams. We haven't still been able to identify which kind it is because it has been next to its mother all the time. Fuerteventura Oasis Park hosts 5 female and 4 male Ring-Tailed Lemurs, and 4 other Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur males. The arrival of this new member of the group hasn't brought any extra problems for the other lemurs living inside this enclosure. In fact, the other males help cleaning the baby by repeatedly licking its body. This makes us very happy because the birth of this species is very valuable for its conservation due to the UNESCO's declaration of danger of extinction.
Chileua, the new specimen's mother, was born in the park in 2012, and was part of the second generation being born in captivity. After 5 months of pregnancy, the representative of the third generation has been born. The females of this species can have up to three babies in each birth, although this time only one has been born. Ring-tailed lemurs are one of the most examined species of lemurs, as well as one of the most easily recognizable ones in captivity. There are only a few protected areas in Madagascar where they can be seen. The few forests inhabited by Ring-Tailed Lemurs are easily deforested, hence their habitat is disappearing extremely quickly; over 90% of the species of lemurs are endangered. In fact, satellite images suggest that their habitat disappears even faster than other forests in Madagascar.
Many zoos and conservation organizations from all around the world participate in this cause in different ways and in Oasis Park, along with other zoos, we have been working for years with conservation and reproduction programs. By taking care of the species, the number of specimens increases; this way we help to prevent their extinction and get them closer to the public, which makes them aware of the serious danger they are exposed to. And what's better than the birth of a third generation.
"If we do nothing about it, lemurs will disappear in the period of a generation. It's all parks and reserves duty to educate our visitors and make them aware of this big problem, so we all fight under the same message for the balance of the planet's flora and fauna" said Guacimara Cabrera, supervisor of the Education and Conservation Department in Fuerteventura Oasis Park. The latest baby can already be visited by doing the Interaction with Lemurs, in which biologists will show them the Madagascar Tunnel and its species.