Pixel Tracker

Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 7:36 pm | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Santa Barbara Athletic Round TableThe LabAmerican Riviera Bank

Baby Lemurs a Welcome Addition to Santa Barbara Zoo

The boy and girl join the zoo's other black and white ruffed lemurs, an endangered species covered under a regional survival plan.

 

A pair of highly endangered black and white ruffed lemurs have been born at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

On April 15, keepers found one female and one male offspring in a nest box with their mother inside their exhibit’s holding area. Keepers confirmed nursing and proper maternal care, and the young lemurs were examined by veterinary staff. The lemurs remained in the holding area nest for their first week, but are now being moved around the exhibit by their mother.

The same pair of adult black and white ruffed lemurs had litters in three of the past four years. The parents, who arrived at the zoo in November 2004, had twin males in May 2005, then a male and a female were born April 3, 2007. All of the previous offspring are in the exhibit with their parents and the new babies.

“As with many of our species here at the zoo, black and white lemurs are a part of a regional zoo management program called a Species Survival Plan, coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said Alan Varski, the zoo’s director of animal programs and conservation.

“Our experienced lemur mother delivered just as anticipated based on our prenatal care. This adds two more members to our now very dynamic family group of eight lemurs."

All species of lemurs, endemic to the island of Madagascar, are endangered in the wild. The Species Survival Plan, a scientifically based managed breeding program, acts as a hedge against extinction by maintaining a healthy and self-sustaining population that is genetically diverse and demographically stable. Currently, 113 survival plans covering 181 species are administered by the AZA, whose membership includes accredited zoos and aquariums throughout North America.  The Santa Barbara Zoo participates in 20 of the survival plans.

Black and white ruffed lemurs were the species featured on the Santa Barbara Zoo’s logo for nearly 20 years as it was the first survival plan species to reproduce at the zoo. Fifteen black and white ruffed lemurs have been born at the zoo, including the new offspring. The zoo also has four female and one male ring-tailed lemurs. Ring-tailed lemurs also have been recommended for breeding under the lemur survival plan.

Black and white ruffed lemurs are one of two subspecies of ruffed lemur, the other being the red ruffed lemur. Its natural habitat is primarily the rain forests of Madagascar. Red ruffed lemurs eat fruits, seeds, leaves and nectar, and their food passes though their digestive system in as little as two hours.  They reach sexual maturity at about 20 months, gestation is 90 to 120 days, and they can have one litter per year.

Ruffed lemur babies do not cling to their parents but are carried in the parent’s mouth.  The female is the caretaker, with the male keeping his distance until the female allows him to interact with the babies. They will be weaned at about 90 days old.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more information.

Julia McHugh is a public relations representative of the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >