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Targeted Impact Gifts

2020 Priority Needs for Special Gifts:
$5,000 – $110,000

While unrestricted donations are always needed, appreciated, and directed toward priority needs of the DLC, these special targeted impact gifts are identified priorities for the DLC as options for donors considering larger contributions between $5,000 and $110,000. Some of these opportunities can be divided into two or three annual payments to fulfill the total funding needed. Please direct questions to our development officer, Mary Paisley,

Funding Opportunities: Animal Care

Blood Chemistry Analyzer
FULFILLED! Thank you to Linn and Robert Feidelson for providing this gift!
The Abaxis VS2 would allow us to run bloodwork in-house in as little as 12 minutes with samples as small as 2 drops of blood. Having this capability is crucial in emergency situations when we need to know an animal’s internal organ function and can’t wait for results to come back the next day. This is important for the care of our entire colony but especially essential for the 65 small nocturnal animals where every drop of blood counts.

Radio replacement:
The DLC relies on handheld radios to stay in contact with each another and to convey critical information in a timely manner to any one of the 30 employees on our 80-acre site. Our current professional durability radios are approaching the end of their lifespan and need to be replaced.
$105,000 – We’d love to fulfill this need with ten $10k+ donations!

Adding improved mini-free range rooms in NB 107:
The cages in NB 108 are working really well and are a much better option for housing fat-tailed dwarf lemurs and singletons or pairs of galago moholis.

Kawasaki Mule for animal technicians
This all-terrain vehicle is important for transporting animal technicians, vet technicians, supplies, and lemurs (in crates, of course!) to and from our nine natural habitats and animal care buildings.

Testing and veterinary supplies:
Each of the more than 220 animals at the DLC receives a thorough physical exam every other year and has 24-hour access to world’s best lemur veterinary medicine.

Veterinarians & veterinary technicians:
The DLC generates revenue to cover the salaries and benefits of most of its veterinary team. This gift will support lost revenues in this category due to COVID-19 closures.

New digital x-ray system for veterinary department:
Our current x-ray system is outdated and in need of replacement. A new digital x-ray system will greatly improve our quality care of the colony. Detailed description is at the bottom of this page.
$110,000 or two years at $55,000.

Food specialty items:
These are unique food items such as nuts, worms, and crickets that we procure for certain species within the colony.
$16,000 or three $5,000+ donors are needed to fulfill this need.

Special animal enrichment supplies:
Providing for the mental well-being of every animal is the focus of our enrichment program and is just as important as a proper diet and safe habitat.

Animal enrichment program support:
This gift is needed to support a portion of staffing expenses that would otherwise be funded by revenues lost due to COVID-19 closures.
$15,000 or partial support at $5,000+.

Animal camera project:
New cameras and maintenance of existing cameras allow our staff to check on animals at any time day or night. For animals like our aye-ayes, who are experiencing their new outdoor enclosures for the first time, these cameras are critical to monitoring their safety and documenting their reaction to a brand-new world.

Funding Opportunities: Non-invasive Research

Malagasy field station:
This field station in Anjajavy (northwestern Madagascar) is needed to support the DLC’s torpor research with wild dwarf lemurs. It will also serve as a training site for students and scientists.

Ultracold freezer:
This freezer is needed for the preservation of invaluable biological samples collected non-invasively during veterinary procedures and made available for scientific research (genomics, immunology, endocrinology, metabolomics, etc.). We need two freezers. The price is for each unit.
$15,000 for one unit or $30,000 for both units.

Scientific freezer:
Needed for the preservation of cadaveric specimens made available for scientific research (anatomy, biomechanics, ontogeny, etc.). All DLC animals continue to contribute to research, even beyond their natural lifespan. We need two units. The price is the cost for a single unit.
$10,000 for one unit or $20,000 for both units.

Research supplies:
These supplies are necessary for biological sample preparation and preservation.

Funding Opportunities: Madagascar Conservation

Travel to Madagascar:
The DLC’s conservation staff travel between Durham and Madagascar to oversee active projects and meet with our Malagasy partners.

FULFILLED! Thank you to the Cooke family for providing this gift! This supports our reforestation project on the ground in Madagascar.

Family planning:
FULFILLED! Thank you to the Cooke family for providing this gift! This provides Malagasy women with reproductive choices by making contraceptives and counseling available.

Vehicle operation:
FULFILLED! Thank you to Bob and Sue Knox for providing this gift! The DLC must maintain a vehicle to support its conservation work in Madagascar. These funds maintain the annual vehicle maintenance and a salary for a driver.

Conservation operations support:
FULFILLED! Thank you to the Cooke family for providing this gift!  This gift will support the DLC office in Madagascar and one of our Malagasy staff.

Funding Opportunities: Division of Fossil Primates

Fossil ICU:
FULFILLED! Thank you to Drs. Russel and Elisabeth Cook for providing this gift! The importance of this project is difficult to understate. Our collection of fossils from Egypt is globally unique, especially the collection from L-41. The quarry is the most fossil-rich place in Africa between the extinction of dinosaurs and the evolution of apes, and the DLC is the only place where these fossils can be studied. Technically, half of the L-41 collection is in Cairo, but they have a revolving door of staff and most of the fossils are still wrapped in toilet paper. And that’s it. The fossils are at the DLC and one museum in Cairo.

MicroCT scanning:
Our scanning operations are crucial as we race against the elements to create a digital, 3D record of our collection before the North Carolina weather gets the better of it. Traditional paleontology was based on collections visits. Researchers would need to physically visit a collection to examine the specimens. Specimens could also be loaned, but that meant only one person or team could work with a fossil at a time. Researchers also needed to know the collection existed in the first place.

New X-ray System Needed

Click anywhere on the poster above for a larger view.

The Duke Lemur Center has a new and “highest priority” major gift opportunity within our veterinary department. This is a $110,000 need/opportunity, and we would be thrilled to recognize the donor with a special plaque on or beside the machine during its lifetime.

Here is a note from our veterinarians, Drs. Schopler and Ellsaesser:

The veterinary team at the Duke Lemur Center is seeking a donation to make possible the purchase of some very important pieces of equipment for the veterinary department that will provide a more advanced technology to support the care of the lemurs at the DLC.

Our current x-ray machine is very old and could stop working at any time, leaving us without one of the most important diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine. A new unit will allow us to image with less radiation and less anesthesia time. The new system would be DR (Digital Radiology), which means:

   * Instantaneous images no waiting for an image to develop as we do now, which currently takes about 2 minutes per image with our existing machine. Getting high-quality images quickly reduces a lemur’s time under anesthesia, which helps the lemur recover faster and reduces the risk of complications

   * The detail of DR digital imaging is tremendous and we will be able to magnify images without losing detail, thus improving our diagnostic capabilities. This is especially important when examining soft tissues – for example, checking for an obstructed GI tract, an enlarged heart, or a mass in the liver.

   * The images are easy to look at, send off for second opinions, store digitally, and refer to remotely.

Some of our animals are so small that we will be able to take x-rays of their hands using the dental x-ray equipment (mouse lemurs and fat tailed dwarf lemurs). Most of the animals we x-ray are larger and require a standing table machine. All this adds up to an improved quality of care for the lemurs, and better health long term.

Thank you for your help!

Ultimately, this opportunity will provide not only vastly better tools for the vet team and improved care of our lemurs, but also improved efficiency that will impact other areas of our work, including an enhanced capacity for analysis within non-invasive research projects. If you are interested in more information, please call Mary Paisley at or 919.401.7252.

Additional Options

If you are interested in finding a special purpose for a gift ranging from $5,000 to $99,000, the Duke Lemur Center is happy to discuss with you our current priority needs and options for your gift to make a significant impact immediately. Please contact our development officer, Mary Paisley, at or 919.401.7252. For information about gifts of $100,000 or more, please visit our Major and Principal Gifts page.