Scientific research is an essential element of the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s mission. Accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the 120-acre Myakka City Reserve encompasses two fenced forests where many of the over 50 resident ring-tailed, red-ruffed, mongoose, brown, collared, and Sanford’s lemurs range freely. This nearly natural habitat invites authentic behaviors, improving breeding success and enabling scientific research and field training for visiting university students.
LCF’s facilities, with housing available on the reserve, enable research on critical issues for in situ and ex situ lemur conservation. LCF considers only projects that do not involve physiological or psychological harm. The LCF Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) review all proposals, and the approval process averages about four weeks.
Professors regularly bring students to Myakka City for intensive weeklong field experiences incorporated into for-credit courses at their universities. Students can observe lemurs in a controlled but natural habitat that is far more accessible than Madagascar. As Eastern Kentucky University anthropology professor Benjamin Freed noted, “Working in the field, students learn to think on the fly, which is a wonderful skill that will serve them in any job after graduation.”
For more information about proposing research or setting up a field school at the Myakka City Lemur Reserve, contact conservation program manager Devin Edmonds at email@example.com.