Jack M. Weatherford Award for Best Capstone in Anthropology
The family Lemuridae represents a large and important group within the order Primate. Today, lemurs—endemic to Madagascar—are the most threatened mammal group on Earth. Almost every one of the 100-plus recognized species suffers from habitat destruction and other anthropogenic pressures. The IUCN lists the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) as critically endangered. Models suggest it will go extinct within the next decade and so far, conservation efforts have so far yielded little measurable success. For the blue-eyed black lemur, captive populations—typically serving as buffers against extinction— are experiencing problems that keep them from being viable for reintroduction into the wild. The reasons for these problems are unknown. Unlike in the wild, however, captivity is a human-controlled environment. Managers have the power to control for environmental variables. Additionally, reproductive technologies exist that would allow for an immediate solution to the low reproductive success of these lemurs. Given the time-frame predicted for this species, it is imperative that we, humans, act now and do all that is within our power to sustain the blue-eyed black lemur for generations to come.
Meier, Katherine, "Blue Eyes on Red Lists: Conservation and the Future of the Blue-eyed Black Lemur" (2016). Award Winning Anthropology Papers. 2.
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