Lemurs are amazing animals—a diverse group of primates found only on the island of Madagascar. There are about 100 living species of lemur ranging in size from the tiny mouse lemur to the large and vocal indri. Nearly all of those species are threatened with extinction, mainly due to habitat loss and hunting, according to the IUCN.
Protecting the forested areas where lemurs live is a crucial step in their survival—which is where the Missouri Botanical Garden comes in.
The Garden has established 13 conservation sites in Madagascar, working closely with the local Malagasy people to protect rare trees and the lemurs who rely on them, along with other flora and fauna unique to this biodiversity hot spot.
“By selecting and conserving priority areas for plant conservation in Madagascar, we accidentally found ourselves conservators of over 30 lemur species – some of which are critically endangered,” says Chris Birkinshaw, a Curator in the Garden’s Africa and Madagascar program.
Below you’ll find images of just some of the lemurs who find a safe haven at the Garden’s conservation sites.
Left: A gray-headed lemur, Eulemur cinereiceps in Agnalazaha.
Center: Red-fronted brown lemurs, Eulemur rufifrons in Analavelona. Photo by Mael Jaonasy.
Right: An unidentified species of mouse lemur, genus Microcebus, in Agnalazaha. Photo by Ludovic Reza.