Earth Day 2020 Virtual Extravaganza
On April 22, the Duke Lemur Center, closed to visitors since the beginning of the pandemic, hosted a virtual Earth Day extravaganza with hourly online talks and videos.
9:00 a.m.: A Virtual Introduction to the DLC
To kick off our virtual Earth Day extravaganza, let’s start with a behind-the-scenes introduction and overview all about what we do! This video was created by Duke alumnus Javahar Mariwala, a DLC communications intern in spring 2019.
10:00 a.m.: The DLC’s Conservation Breeding Program
Who doesn’t love baby lemurs?! As part of our Earth Day celebration, we wanted to highlight our conservation breeding program, and show you a few familiar baby faces while we’re at it!
Our conservation breeding program is coordinated with national and global partners to ensure the best possible future for lemurs in human care, and in the wild. While these baby lemurs *are* adorable, they are also critically important to our future successes in preserving these precious animals.
We hope you enjoy this snapshot into our conservation breeding program, and if you would like to keep getting fun updates on baby lemurs, then we’ve got great news! We now have a brand new sifaka infant adoption package, featuring this year’s infants Didius and Terence!
11:00 a.m.: Lemur Breakfast in the Forest
Join Education Programs Manager Megan McGrath for a virtual tour of Natural Habitat Enclosure 2. This just happens to be where baby Didius lives, so we guarantee you’ll want to check this video out!
You can “adopt” Didius and fellow sifaka baby Terence virtually with a special digital package we’ve put together! A perfect gift for a lemur-loving friend, or your lemur-loving self!
Madagascar boasts some of the most breathtaking, iconic, and challenging landscapes on Earth, teeming with wildlife and possibility. Come hear about what it’s like to do lemur field work in the island’s rainforests and dry forests, as DLC research scientist Dr. Lydia Greene shares her experience searching for sifakas (and their feces) in her quest to understand the lemur gut microbiome.
Here’s our first enrichment video for the day! Coquerel’s sifaka Gordian and black and white ruffed lemur brothers AJ and Rees show off their puzzle feeder skills. These lemurs voluntarily came into their indoor habitats to engage with this enrichment – they have access to their outdoor habitat areas as well!
Our dedicated animal care staff provide all 200+ animals here at the DLC with enrichment every single day. If you’d like to contribute to our enrichment supplies, please check out our Amazon wishlist. Who knows – you could see an item you donated in a future video!
2:00 p.m.: Mega Madagascar
Giant lemurs, birds, and hippos once roamed Madagascar and now their fossils are at the Duke Lemur Center! Meet the monsters with paleontologist Dr. Matt Borths, fossil curator at the DLC’s Division of Fossil Primates, and learn how the fossil record is used to understand and conserve modern species.
The eulemurs wanted to join the Earth Day fun! In this video, we feature crowned lemurs Aria and Anhotep, and mongoose lemurs Maddie and Duggan, as they work on some foraging mats.
Did you know that these two lemur species were classified together as just one species only 40 years ago? It’s amazing to consider how much progress scientists have made in the last few decades, and we can’t wait to do our part to continue furthering that progress in the coming decades!
If you’d like to support our enrichment program and send a lemur a fun present, please check out our Amazon wishlist.
4:00 p.m.: Make Madagascar Green Again
Our final expert in our Earth Day series is Dr. James Herrera, who helps oversee the DLC’s SAVA Conservation program in Madagascar! Please join him in celebrating Earth Day with DLC-SAVA Conservation’s efforts in Madagascar applying reforestation and regenerative agriculture.
The DLC has been working in conservation on the ground in Madagascar for almost 30 years, and all DLC conservation initiatives are funded exclusively by grants and donations. If you would like to learn more about, or donate to support, our conservation efforts, please visit our Madagascar Conservation Programs homepage.
5:00 p.m.: Lemur Trivia
Join us in our first ever virtual lemur trivia, hosted by our very own DLC Researcher, Dr. Lydia Greene, and Division of Fossil Primates Curator, Dr. Matt Borths! We hope you’ve enjoyed tuning in for our Earth Day virtual extravaganza, and now it’s time to show off your lemur knowledge!