By Cathy Williams, D.V.M.
Curator, Duke Lemur Center 

At the end of March, four members of the Duke Lemur Center husbandry (animal care) staff attended a planning workshop for the Prosimian Taxon Advisory Group (PTAG) at the Jacksonville Zoo in Jacksonville, Florida. The PTAG is a collaborative group of representatives from AZA-accredited zoos and conservation facilities (including the DLC) in the United States that are committed to advancing the care of lemurs and lorises within human care and supporting their conservation in the wild.

When committed individuals work together with experts across North America in a supportive and collaborative environment, great things happen! Lively debate and problem-solving sessions were held to discuss, among other topics,  which lemur species would most benefit from increased support at zoos and in the wild; how to increase breeding of the most at-risk species; novel ways to manage lemurs in zoos that allow animals to thrive; and  how to educate the public about health risks and animal welfare issues associated with lemurs in the pet trade. We all came away invigorated and energized with a renewed commitment to creating optimal environments for these very special primates in both human care and in their native country of Madagascar.

Published April 9, 2018.