Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Facts – Meet the Browns (Lemurs that is!)

Rosie and Komoto are the two brown lemur residents at SBFPS. As primates, they are highly social, in the wild living in groups with up to 30 - 40 individuals.  In the sanctuary, they snuggle with each other and interact with their ring-tailed lemur neighbours.  “The Browns” as we call them are interested in watching the humans washing dishes and working around the barn.  One of their favourite treats are grapes – they are so cute when they eat them!  They have soft hands, are gentle and love to bask in the sun.  They are flight animals, meaning they would rather flee than fight.

Rosie enjoying a grape in her enrichment!
·        Lemurs are found on the island of Madagascar, located off the southeastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. They have also been found to live on Mayotte, an island to the north of Madagascar.

·        Brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) are typically herbivores, eating fruits, flowers, and leaves, but they will, on occasion, eat centipedes, millipedes, and other insects. They will also consume bark, sap, and clay.

·        They live in forests, both rain forests and dry forests, ensures that they have an ample supply of food, with plenty of plant and animal life around to nibble on.

·         They are excellent jumpers, moving from tree to tree with ease and use their tail for balance when needed. They spend less than 2% of their time on the ground. When on the ground, they usually run around on all 4 legs.

·        As with all of the true lemurs, olfactory communication is extraordinarily important.  They have scent glands on their wrists and throats and use them to mark location and as an individual “signature”. 

·        The brown lemur is classified as near threatened on the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) red list of threatened species. Over the past 3 generations (24 years) the population is estimated to have decreased by 20 to 25%. This is mostly due to decline in both the area and the quality of its habitat in its only known range. The brown lemur also suffers from exploration.
·        ohn: this is a nasal sound that is used in maintain-ing group cohesion (we hear this all the time in the barn!)
·        cree: this high-pitched sound is used as a terri-torial call
·        crou: this sound is the alarm call of the brown lemur

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