Sunday, June 15, 2008

What is a lemur health evaluation?

We can get very useful information from the lemurs when we have them in hand. For the larger lemurs, we need to capture them with a dart gun (more on that later), but for the smaller lemurs, such as mouse lemurs, we can use small traps that don't hurt the little guys. Put a little piece of banana in there and the mouse lemurs love it.



During the evaluation, I'll note a lot of information about the individual, such as age, sex, any abnormal behavior, and general coat, eye and teeth condition. I also take a small hair sample to later measure stress hormone levels in the lab, a fecal sample (mmmm....yes, my life is glamorous) to look at intestinal parasites and a small skin sample to get DNA from each individual.

All this data will come back to the US for analysis, and combined with geospatial and habitat data, we can tell a great deal about lemur health.

10 comments:

Aaron Stoertz said...

How long do you leave the lemurs in the boxes before you let them out?

Brian said...

How long does a lemur have to been in a box before it behaves 'abnormally'?

Meredith Barrett said...

Ha! I'm very nice to the lemurs in boxes. I'll put the boxes out in the late evening and take the lemurs out in the early morning. Plus they get banana out of the deal, so it's not so bad.

aneta said...

Im doing a restoration ecology project on lemurs. Thanks for posting all this great information. Some of it is just not possible to be found in literature. Its really sad whats going on in Madagascar. Thanks for doing the great work! I just wanted to let you know that I have used some of what you said in my project. I have referenced it as a website and I spoke with my professor about this. Its just because I have done extensive research on some things and couldnt find them. But there you were... Thanks again!
aneta

nocturnchrist said...

Thanks for this nice health info, it's so useful for me.

regards,
Max

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