This very distinctive lemur, with its striking colouring and loud raucous voice, is one of the most threatened species of Madagascan primate because of rapid habitat loss to an impoverished and ever expanding human population.
Red ruffed lemurs were first brought to Durrell’s headquarters in Jersey in 1982 and those bred over the years have formed a valuable part of a captive breeding programme, so that should the worst happen in the wild, this lemur will not become extinct.
Durrell has many well-established links with Madagascar, especially involving the conservation of lemurs. Since 1964, a great deal of expertise has been gained both in Jersey and in the wild with various species. As well as breeding an assurance population in Jersey, Durrell’s Madagascan team plays a vitally important role in habitat protection, research, education and training programmes to ensure the species’ future in the wild. A number of Madagascan students have completed specialist conservation courses at Durrell’s International Training Centre in Jersey and returned to Madagascar with the skills they need to carry out critical conservation work to help save their native wildlife.