Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation helps to save endangered lemurs

26th March 2019

An innovative project to save critically endangered lemurs is taking shape thanks to the support of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation.

A new school and research centre are almost built as part of an international programme to support the species in their native Madagascar. The Foundation, based at the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park, has granted the project £5,000 year for the next three years to fund conservation project where slash-and-burn land clearing and hunting have devastated lemur populations. The project is run by the AEECL, a charitable consortium of European zoos and universities, dedicated to lemur conservation. It operates in the remote north-west reaches of the Indian Ocean island, collaborating with local communities to raise awareness of the importance of conservation, build schools, fund schoolteachers, restore forests and improve the economy. A school at Antafiabe, on the edge of the Ankarafa Forest, Sahamalaza National Park, is 65% complete and buildings to house research workers are well advanced and, in a boost to the economy that will encourage local support, there first ecotourists have visited the centre to witness blue-eyed black lemurs in the wild. -It is great to see the project making progress and already making a positive difference to local life, said Cheryl Williams, Foundation trustee. -The scheme's success is crucial to the survival of the species whose numbers have dipped to below 1,000. -This project offers great hope for the local community providing work, schools and economic boosts from ecotourism and the combination will promote the importance of conservation to both the lemurs and the people. Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation is a charity based at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster. The park's rangers raise funds for YWPF's support of lemur projects at the walk-through reserve Lemur Woods which is home to red-bellied and ring-tailed lemurs. The park is also home to some of the most endangered and beautiful species in the world, including Amur Tigers, Leopards, Polar Bears, Giraffes, Lions, African hunting dogs amongst other animals and the charitable activities of the YWPF support these endangered species in the wild as well as welfare projects around the world.

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