Originally, the blue-eyed black lemur was the subspecies of the black lemur (Eulemur macaco) but has now been separated to its own species (Eulemur flavirons) due to genetic difference between the species. They are also known as the Sclater’s Black Lemur or Sclater’s Lemur. The blue-eyed black lemur is classisfied as critically endangered (IUCN redlist 2014) and is in the Top 25 Most Endangered Primates List.
The habitat of the blue-eyed black lemur is in the northwestern part of Madagascar, specifically in the Sahalamaza peninsula as well as the area between Befotaka and Manongarivo. The map with the habitat location is available here via the link.
Blue eyes and prominent ear tufts differentiate the blue-eyed black lemur from the black lemur. The eye colour ranges from blue gray to electric blue. Their total length is about 90-100cm (body and tail, tail is always longer than their body) and can weigh 1.6-2.0kg. They are sexually dimorphic – males are black while the females have reddish brown to blonde fur.
Food is mainly leaves and fruits though they would occasionally eat insects, flowers, fungi, nectar and seeds.
Breeding season is from April to June. Females carry 1-2 offspring and the gestation cycle is 126 days. Baby lemurs are weaned off at 5-6 months and become sexually mature at 2-3 years old.
It is assumed that blue-eyed black lemurs may have same social habits as the black lemur: social groups of 7-10 individuals, bias towards males in group ratio and females are dominant, having preferential access to food and choice of whom to mate with.
Scent marking is the primary mode of communication. Males also mark by rubbing their palms or wrists and by head rubbing.
There are approximately only 1,000 blue-eyed black lemurs in the wild. The biggest threat to their population is habitat destruction through slash and burn agriculture, logging, mining and forest fires. They are also hunted for food and kept as pets. Our organization is working closely with the local community to protect the habitat where the blue-eyed black lemur lives.
Help us conserve the blue-eyed black lemur today so that the future generation may see them.
- IUCN Redlist
- Bristol Zoo
- Duke Lemur Center
The Marat Karpeka Lemur Foundation is fortunate to have a supporter who wanted to share her journey with our readers. We hope that this can brighten your day and inspire you.
I’m Katerina. I’m originally from Poland. I was a staff member of the Polish Embassy for 10 years and now have transitioned to work in the IT industry.
I would like to share my story with you about how I started supporting the Marat Karpeka Lemur foundation.
I have always loved animals and my childhood dream was to become a vet but destiny took me to another field of work and became a teacher by education. I own a rescue dog, Charlie – a Brittany spaniel and I had many animals in the past. I like spending time somewhere in the mountains, taking long walks with Charlie.
Volunteering is something that I am passionate about too. I was a volunteer teacher for children from broken families in Poland. I also was a volunteer at a dog shelter a few years ago and believe that it is better to give a furry friend a second chance in life by adopting from a shelter before buying from pet stores.
I feel best when I am close to nature and animals. I don’t really like visiting zoos, because it seems that the animals suffer immensely there. In primary school I refused joining the field trips to the zoo, not to mention the circus! I do not wear leather by choice and I always check that the products I use has not been tested on animals. My ultimate dream is to visit Africa on a safari trip to see wild animals in their natural environment.
One day I saw a TV program on National Geographic about Madagascar and lemurs. And I thought: “Wow, they are so cute but very vulnerable”. 90% of the species is endangered – if we do not unite and do something right now, they will disappear from the Earth in the near future. I believe as human beings we should take the necessary actions and prevent lemurs’ extinction. This is our common responsibility.
What would you say to your child or a grandchild watching the Madagascar movie or showing the picture of extinct lemur in the book knowing that you could have done something in the past but you didn’t?
I decided to join the conservation movement and started to donate in 2016. My friend introduced me to the Marat Karpeka Lemur foundation, a small fund that makes huge efforts in order to save lemur populations in Madagascar. The foundation also supports the local community by helping improve their livelihoods through infrastructure (wells, farming improvements) and educating the next generation via the yearly Lemur Festival that is aimed at children. I met Marina Surskova, one of the team members and she told me about their challenges. This made me realize that even a small contribution of every single person matters.
We are happy to have known a like-minded individual such as Katerina to help with our cause. Help us pave the way for a brighter future for the lemurs with healthier populations, every little bit of support counts. If you have any questions or would like to share your story like Katerina, please contact us.