Fota Wildlife Park celebrates the arrival of endangered lemurs – and now wants the public’s help naming them
The FOTA animal park celebrates the birth of three critically endangered black and white varis baby lemurs.
he baby lemurs were born to mother Cloud, aged 19, and father Paraic, born in Fota, aged nine.
All were born on June 3 in East Cork Park. The newcomers now share their island habitat on main Fota Lake with their four older siblings, twin brothers Nimbus and Cumulus born in 2019, and twin brother and sister, Banie and Dubh, born in June of the year. last.
Senior Ranger Teresa Power said the births were a major boost for the park‘s conservation program.
“We are delighted with the birth of three new baby lemurs. The babies and their mother Cloud are doing well, ”she said.
“Births in the park are always exciting, but with 31 pc of all lemur species in Madagascar now critically endangered and 98 pc of threatened lemurs, have such continued success with these critically endangered lemurs. is wonderful. It’s a great indication of the joy and health of these primates here at the park.
Madagascar has lost 90% of its forest cover over the past 200 years.
This has placed 80% of its animal and plant life in danger of extinction. Unfortunately, there are now less than 250 black and white varis lemurs left in the wild.
Fota Animal Park is now asking the public for help in naming the three newcomers.
While the gender of the newcomers is not yet known, the park is inviting name suggestions through its website for a chance to win one of the three annual one-year conservation passes at Fota.
Like Dublin Zoo, Fota staff are working hard to recover from the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both parks had to close for months – and only survived thanks to emergency government funding.
Fota manager Sean McKeown said the park relied almost entirely on revenue from ticket sales.
“About 95% of our income comes from visitors who come to the park, so we totally depend on them to run the park,” he said.
It costs € 380,000 to run Fota each month. The 100-acre park is one of the world’s leading breeding centers for endangered species and has 135 different animal species.
A nonprofit charity, it critically depends on its revenue at the door.
Fota has an annual turnover of around 6 million euros, with more than 150 employees in full summer activity.
Due to the Covid-19 shutdown, Fota has had to put on hold long-planned redevelopment work on its popular Monkey Island, while vital flood protection programs have also been put on hold.
Each month, the food bill for Fota’s animals is around € 15,000.
The majority of Fota’s animals represent some of the most endangered species on the planet.
Opened in 1983 on part of the former Smith-Barry estate, the park attracted nearly 470,000 visitors per year before the pandemic.
About half of its visitors are tourists, and the park provides a € 200 million boost to the local economy each season.
Five years ago, Fota opened her new $ 6million Asian sanctuary and added Asian lion pride to the list of endangered species she now hopes to breed.
They joined the Sumatran tigers as the park expanded its status as a “big cat” which, since the park opened, has revolved around cheetahs only.
A total of 14 million euros has been invested by Fota in a major expansion of its animal facilities and attractions since 2010.
Since its opening, it has established itself as one of the most successful parks in the world for breeding programs for endangered species.
Endangered species successfully bred in Fota have been distributed to zoos and animal parks on four continents.