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Zoo News Blog

You are Saving a New Species of Lemur in the Wild

Ring-tailed Lemurs at the Houston Zoo

If you have been to the Houston Zoo lately, you may have seen our ring-tailed lemurs. These are the lemurs most people picture when they think of lemurs. But did you know there are over 100 known species of lemurs in Madagascar?
Houston Zoo conservation partner GERP protects lemurs and other animals in Madagascar through empowering local communities to conserve and protect their forests that house lemurs.

GERP works to improve not just the lives of lemurs, but of the human populations living in or around protected primate habitat. They are also saving the newly discovered species of lemur, the Sheth’s dwarf lemur, one of the smallest of the dwarf lemurs. This discovery helps show the importance of Madagascar as home to a great variety of unique animals.

 

 

Sheth’s Dwarf Lemur, Image credit: Richard Randriamampionona

 
To give you an idea of how big, or should I say how small, the Sheth’s dwarf lemur is, let’s compare it to a ring-tailed lemur, which is about the size of a house cat. A ring-tailed lemur can be up to 17 inches long, not including its tail. That is almost a foot and a half! The Sheth’s dwarf lemur can be up to 7 inches long, not including its tail. That is almost a foot smaller than the ring-tailed lemur and smaller than some people’s hands!

The next time you visit the Houston Zoo be sure to stop and see the lemurs. When you do, try and picture how small the newly discovered Sheth’s dwarf lemur is and know that by visiting the Houston Zoo you are saving lemurs in the wild!