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Visiting Researchers

Ben FreedDr. Ben Freed, from Eastern Kentucky University, visited the MCLR to assess the reserve’s suitability as a field training program and research site for his undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Freed teaches a number of anthropology courses at EKU, including Primate Conservation and Primate Ecology and Sociality. While visiting the reserve, he had an opportunity to observe our Sanford’s brown lemurs, Eulemur sanfordi, one of the lemur species that he studies in Madagascar.

We are delighted to host Dr. Freed and look forward to meeting his students when he returns for a field training course.

Dolins, Napieralski, Steffke

Dr. Francine Dolins, Dr. Jacob Napieralski, and Christy Steffke, from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, spent two weeks in June conducting a pilot study comparing GPS equipment for monitoring and plotting the ranging behavior of the reserve’s semi-free ranging lemurs.

The goal of this visit is to determine what equipment provided the most accurate data, to establish an accurate and detailed map of the enclosures, and to prepare for future studies to enhance our understanding of the interaction between spatial knowledge and social decision making in foraging.

Dr. Dolins and Dr.Napieralski hope to apply the techniques perfected at the reserve to field research in Madagascar. Christy used her considerable skill and knowledge of GIS technologies to create several maps of the reserve for use by staff and other researchers.

Like Dr. Freed, Dr. Dolins hopes to conduct field training courses at the reserve for her own students in the future.

In April, the Myakka City Lemur Reserve was pleased to be able to host some colleagues of Dr. Alison Jolly -- Dr. Julie Hagelin and Jen Crick of Swarthmore College, and Amber Walker-Bolton of Roehampton University (London).

Dr. Hagelin, Ms. Crick, and Ms. Walker-Bolton study olfactory communication, most recently with ring-tailed lemurs in Berenty Reserve, Madagascar.

Staff enjoyed learning about their interesting research and we look forward to possible collaborations in the future.

Alison Zak - Research Intern

Alsion Zak The Myakka City Lemur Reserve welcomes its latest research intern, Alison Zak.A native of Tampa, Florida.

Alison recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. In her final year she participated in the Anthropology Honors program and completed a thesis on Thai Buddhism.

While she is interested in human culture, she is most passionate about wildlife conservation and believes that the two fields should be considered together in order to understand the complex issue of protecting primates and their habitat.

In her time at the reserve Alison expects to learn the basics of field research and gain valuable experience that will contribute to her pursuit of a career in primatology. Lemurs are quickly becoming one of Alison’s favorite primates!

Jenny Botting - Research Assistant

Jenny Botting   Jenny Botting

A recent graduate with an MSc in Evolution and Behaviour from the University of Stirling (Scotland), Jenny Botting is LCF's first international research assistant.    Jenny earned her BSc (hons) in Psychology from the University of St Andrews. 

She arrived in Myakka City for a 3 month stint as a research assistant and is helping to collect data on habitat use and activity for the Reserve’s long term research goals. She is also designing and conducting her own project to investigate social cognition in lemurs as she hopes to continue on to a PhD in primate cognition.

Association of Zoos & Aquariums  AZA Certification

The Myakka City Lemur Reserve was granted certification from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums for another 5 years!  Pattie Walsh represented MCLR at the final hearing at AZA's midwinter meeting in Chattanooga and reported that:

"...the AZA Board was very welcoming and excited to hear about our current projects and growth for the future. There was an undertone of encouragement and camaraderie among the committee and an overwhelming feeling of support for LCF. Many familiar faces filled the room with smiles from ear to ear and hugs to give as we were presented with our re-certification documentation." Read the full press release.

Charlene Wolff Joins LCF Board

Charlene Wolff is currently founder & CEO of Tria Publications International, LLC and Tria Consulting.  Tria Publications is a firm specializing in low tech critical knowledge tools in the areas of environmental, health, and security topics.  Tria Consulting is a financial consulting group specializing in asset management, estate planning, business succession planning and planned giving.  Charlene Wolff brings a long history and understanding of the financial services business. Ms. Wolff was a co-founder and Managing Director of Wood Asset Management, Inc., an SEC registered investment advisory firm.  Headquartered in Sarasota, FL., the firm managed $1.5 billion in assets when sold in 2007.  

Her previous financial affiliations were with the Bank of Boston-Florida, NA, Cohane Rafferty Securities, Inc. and as a co-founder of Empire Financial Corporation. Prior to her financial career, she spent five years in medical research, having worked at the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, Ma and Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in NY.  Ms. Wolff holds a B.A. from Boston University in Biology and a M.B.A. in Taxation from Pace University.  She is currently a founding board member of Sabal Palm Bank in Sarasota, Fl and serves on the YMCA Foundation of Sarasota, FL. 

She has served on numerous charitable committees throughout her 20 years in Sarasota, with much of her time currently devoted to the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Research Institute, where she is a benefactor and has worked to raise over $800,000.00 for their benefit.  She has also devoted her efforts to Habit for Humanity, where she pulled a group of woman (The Fairy Godmothers) together in 2008 to raise $100,000 in just a few short weeks for a home that was built and named "The Cinderella" house. Additional fundraising efforts have focused on New College Foundation and the Child Protection Center.  She is a former Trustee of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA and a former member of the Board of Directors of Goldie Feldman Academy, the Humane Society of Sarasota County, and the Consortium for Children and Youth of Sarasota County.   

Lemurs Love Their Domes

lemur dome
The freeranging lemurs are getting used to their new housing where they can go in and out as they choose. Thanks to a few very special supporters who provided funds along with a grant from EnviroKidz we were able to make this novel idea a reality. They serve as secure shelters for the freeranging lemurs in the forests so that they can be protected and stay together in their groups when emergencies arise.

In addition to protection fromt he weather, they can also help establish natural territorial boundaries in the multi-acre forests.

The domes are designed to withstand hurricanes and are divided so that they can contain two groups.

Interns from Santa Fe College

Rachael Pipitone and Erica Wagner, both recent graduates of the Zoo Animal Technology Program began six-month programs as animal husbandry interns. They bring excellent training and dedication to the job and an understanding of the importance of the work and the challenges that they will face.  We are thrilled to have two such highly qualified interns to get us through a busy spring season.

interns on the reserve 

Rachel (left) Erica (right) on their way to feed the free-ranging lemurs

Erica HoweBladstrom Library Hosts Erica Howe for Library School Fieldwork

Erica is finishing up her Master's in Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida. She is following in the footsteps of previous library school students here at LCF for internships. Erica is enjoying the varied library work available in our lemur library.

Mifohaza! Wake Up! A Benefit to Help Madagascar Survive



LCF organizes a benefit in New York City at the Rubin Museum.

Razia Said performed to help raise funds to support LCF's programs at the Myakka City Lemur Reserve and our sister reserve in Madagascar.

New Interns at the Reserve, Inside and Outside

Tim Eberhart


Tim Eberhart arrived at the Reserve to take over from Jessica McCall as our animal husbandry intern.  A University of Kansas graduate, Tim has a degree in anthropology and is pursuing an animal keeper career. He's enjoying the warm Florida weather and LCF's charming and gentle prosimians.

Tim worked previously at the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Washington with considerably larger animals such as bighorn sheep, deer, Roosevelt elk, woodland caribou, mountain goats, bison and other native northwest wildlife in their natural habitats.

Shannon SchaneShannon Schane is earning her Master's degree in Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She is enrolled in the Fieldwork course fall term which requires 120 hours of work in a library.

She chose the Anne and Walter Bladstrom Library as her fieldwork site because she is interested in becoming a science librarian. LCF provides a unique opportunity to work in an unusual, special library. Shannon is working on a number of challenging projects which include cataloging the serials collection, ordering new materials and building the libraryweb site.

Shannon has an extensive background in the book trade having managed both Waldenbooks and Books-a-Million stores.

Nailah Ford-Burrell   Amy Freeland

LCF hosted two research interns this summer who showed grit, determination and teamwork in the extreme heat and heavy rains. Nailah Ford-Burrell, a California native who attends Florida Institute of Technology and Amy Freeland, who is enrolled at Stony Brook.

Under Monica Mogilewsky's guidance, both learned proper research techniques and spent long hours in the field, rain or shine, collecting data and expanding the Reserve's ethograms.

Photographs: Tim Eberhart top; Shannon Schane middle;  Nailah Ford-Burrell bottom left; Amy Freeland bottom right.

Baby Brown Lemur, named Merlot!


Shiraz and Pinot's 3 month old, is now officially named Merlot. He is finally venturing out with his father after spending the majority of his time wrapped around his mom. Merlot is healthy and vigorous but a little camera shy. This is an artsy photo he did pose for.

Ring-tailed Baby Makes a Name for Himself

Baby "Harp," is hale and hearty and carrying on the naming convention of his mother Ansell and father Yuengling, and fellow frothy ring-tails Molson, Stella, Sam and Adam.

Ansell and Harp

Ian Tattersall

National Geographic Interviews Dr. Natalie Vasey

Dr. Natalie Vasey who teaches field work courses at LCF was interviewed on National Geographic Weekend Radio. Listen to her interview on their website:
Dr. Erik Patel was featured in NatGeo Newswatch about the logging crisis in Madagascar. Here is his article -

Lemur Reserve on the Local News

Watch a video produced by Bay News 9 video journalist at the Myakka City Lemur Reserve. Click to view

Nature's Path EnviroKidz Giving Back Award

EnviroKidz logoLCF has again been named a recipient of Nature's Path Organic Foods EnviroKidz Giving Back Award. The funds will be used for the Myakka City Lemur Reserve's lemur dome project. The dome project supports the Lemur Conservation Foundation's  mission of saving endangered lemurs from extinction through captive breeding, scientific research, education and reintroduction. The hurricane resistant domes will help mark territorial boundaries for the different groups of lemurs living naturally in the multi-acre forests as well as provide safe shelter should the need arise.

Please read about the EnviroKidz Classroom/Community Center in Tampolo that was built with funds from our 2009 Nature's Path Award.  Click here

Read Full Press Release

New Arrival - Baby Collared Lemur!

collared infant   collared infant

Read the Bradenton Times article about the birth

AKO Project featured in American Journal of Primatology

American Journal of Primatology
See the latest news about the Ako Project and read the article from AJP.

'Departures' Magazine Features LCF

'Departures' features a beautifully illustrated article about the artist Alexis Rockman's inspirational journey to Madagascar led by Penelope Bodry-Sanders.

South Florida Wildlife Club at MCLR

FGCU volunteersMany thanks to the members of the South Florida Wildlife Club of the Florida Gulf Coast University. Eight club members braved the early morning hours and long drive to spend a day at the Myakka City Lemur Reserve.

After being introduced to seven different species of lemurs, the students transplanted trees and constructed a “jungle gym” out of pine culled from the forest enclosures.

The transplanted trees were young saplings of magnolia and live oak that were growing close to the enclosure fences. They were removed and planted in open areas within the forest, where they would have room to grown and would not threaten the integrity of the fence.

The jungle gym was installed to provide more places for the lemurs to eat, sleep, and play in the second enclosure. This enclosure is currently dominated by slash pine and very low shrubs.

The students overcame the heat and enthusiastically tackled the hardest tasks. They were rewarded for their efforts when all three troops of lemurs arrived to explore the new additions.

Thanks to Ashley, Cailin, Sean, Amanda, Lauren and a special thanks to Greg for organizing the event.

tree planting jungle gym prep  
jungle gym jungle gym  
lemur on gym happy lemur


LCF Animal Care Technician

Alison Hunt LCF welcomes Animal Care Technician, Alison Hunt. Alison has recently moved to sunny Sarasota from windy Chicago where she worked as a Lead Veterinary Technician at a busy animal clinic.

As a recent graduate Western Illinois University, Alison has a Bachelor's of Science in Biology, with a concentration in Zoology and a minor in studio art. 

Along with her extensive Veterinary Technician experience, Alison has also worked for the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds where she rehabilitated wild penguins. Having been highly recommended from here previous institutions, we are looking forward to having her join the team in late March.

Monica Mogilewsky Earns Master's

Moinca Mogilewsky and George AmatoMonica completed all the requirements for her Master's in Biodiversity Conservation and Management from the University of London in December 2009 and will receive her diploma March 15th in London. She conducted the lab work for her Master's thesis "Genetic heterozygosity in captive populations of Eulemur collaris, collared brown lemurs, and Eulemur coronatus, crowned lemurs" at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History. LCF Scientist and Board Member George Amato, who is the Director of the Sackler Institute, was instrumental in arranging use of the specialized lab.

March Tree Planting

Unloading treesA local nurseryman in Venice generously donated 50 8 ft. live oak trees to be planted throughout the reserve which in years to come will increase the tree canopy for the lemurs.

A Myakka City neighbor is also giving LCF some faster growing cypress trees, which will be placed in the wetter areas where they will thrive and contribute to the diversity of the forest.

Pete Shover, Phil Sirois and Michael Stern finish unloading the oaks.

The Bradenton Times

A lengthy article and a video featuring the Myakka City Lemur Reserve with key staff interviews was published by the Bradenton Times and are available on their website.



Meg Lowman Writes About LCF

Meg Lowman, professor at New College of Florida and noted tree canopy expert, came to the reserve with a group of students and wrote about their experience in her weekly environmental column. Most importantly she described the current political crisis, the rapid deforestation and what practical steps can be taken to help save the lemurs in Madagascar.

Link to Sarasota Herald-Tribune article

Canopy Highway

Varecia rubra

Volunteers helped install the beginning of our canopy highway in the pine forest. The Varecia rubra)red ruffed lemurs) were instantly enthralled with the artificial vines and enjoy displaying their acrobatic skills especially at mealtime.

varecia rubra

Fieldwork Student Begins in Library

Claire Miller, a graduate student in the University of South Florida's School of Library and Information Science program, began her supervised fieldwork course in the Bladstrom Library. She will assist with library projects and learn about what goes on in a special library. A New College graduate with family in Arcadia, she feels right at home on the Reserve.

Fieldwork students gain hands-on library experience while earning course credits by working for a minimum of 120 hours in our library. Besides traditional library tasks like cataloging and collection development Claire will do some grantsearching and help with the digitization of the rare books.

Claire is LCF's second USF/SLIS student to choose the Bladstrom Library for her fieldwork experience. We appreciate this this mutually beneficial partnership.

LCF Named Recipient of Nature's Path EnviroKidz Giving Back Award 

Envirokikidz logo

Funds Will Support Tampolo Classroom/Community Center

The Lemur Conservation Foundation has been named a recipient of Nature’s Path Organic Foods’ 2009 EnviroKidz Giving Back Award.  The Giving Back Program donates money to non-profit organizations, such as LCF that support endangered species, habitat conservation and environmental education for kids.

LCF's relationship with Nature's Path began with the development of the EnviroKidz Organic Leapin' Lemurs Cereal and cereal bars which educates children about lemurs and their situation as an endangered species.  "We have heard from dozens of children who have responded enthusiastically to the products and the games and informational material on the box and wanted to help us in our mission," said Penelope Bodry-Sanders, LCF's Executive Director. "Given the current political unrest and accelerated environmental devastation in some parts of Madagascar, the LCF's classroom project being supported by EnvironKidz, has become even more urgent and critical for conservation efforts on this island nation," she added.

“We are committed to leaving the world a better place than we found it by supporting organizations like the Lemur Conservation Foundation,” said Arran Stephens, President and Founder of Nature’s Path Organic Foods.  “We are extremely grateful to the consumers who have supported our EnviroKidz line and made this possible and proud to be able to give back to this dedicated and hard-working group.”   Nature’s Path, North America’s number one organic cereal manufacturer is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of its EnviroKidz Giving Back Award this year. 

For more information go to or www.envirokidz,com.

About the Project:

classroom planThe $30,000 grant will fund a much needed  classroom/community center at LCF's sister reserve in Tampolo, Madagascar. 

(To see complete plans, click on image)


The center will fill a critical need at the Tampolo Forest Reserve and will dramatically enhance education outreach for both school students and adults by providing a centralized gathering place for environmental educational presentations and study. 

The Tampolo Station which is already a hub of environmental activity, can also become the civic and intellectual center for all residents of Tampolo villages. In this way, the building serves a social need while bringing attention to environmental issues.   As new towers for wireless Internet are being built ever closer to Tampolo, within the next couple of years when the Internet is available, LCF will install four computers powered by solar panels in the classroom, available for the use of Tampolo village children. 

The Tampolo Station which is already a hub of environmental activity, can also become the civic and intellectual center for all residents of Tampolo villages. In this way, the building serves a social need while bringing attention to environmental issues.   As new towers for wireless Internet are being built ever closer to Tampolo, within the next couple of years when the Internet is available, LCF will install four computers powered by solar panels in the classroom, available for the use of Tampolo village children. 

Nature's Path logo

About Nature’s Path:

Founded in 1985, Nature’s Path Organic Foods is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia and employs around 350 people at its four facilities in Canada and the United States.  The privately held, family-owned company produces breakfast foods and snacks sold in specialty foods stores and retailers in 40 countries around the world.  The company’s innovative brands include Nature’s Path®, Flax Plus, EnviroKidz®, Weil by Nature’s Path TM, and Optimum®.  Visit Nature’s Path online at

Baby Mongoose Lemur Born!

mother and baby mongoz 
4 weeks old with mother

 mongoose lemur family
both parents and baby at almost 2 months

Myakka Reserve's New Lead Keeper

Pattie Walsh

Pattie Walsh began work as as the Myakka City Lemur Reserve's new Lead Keeper in April.  And, she arrived well-prepared for the challenging job.

Pattie comes to LCF from the Wildlife Conservation Society in the Bronx, NY where she worked for six years as a pathology technician. Prior to this she was as an animal keeper at Disney Animal Kingdom and Baltimore Zoo and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar.

Pattie has a B.S. in psychobiology from Long Island University, Southampton Campus and a certificate in conservation biology. She’s also been engaged in conservation efforts in Kenya with bongos (a rare forest antelope) and lions. She has several publications -- on both pathology and animal husbandry – to her credit.  She is especially interested in animal enrichment and training.  

Besides handling animal husbandry responsibilities, Pattie will direct the work of the interns and volunteers, assist with visiting researchers, plan and implement enrichment activities, and will work closely with Monica to maintain our thriving and expanding lemur colony.

Teachers' Institute for Conservation Ecology

The Teachers’ Institute for Conservation Ecology is a five-day research based summer institute sponsored and conducted by the Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF) in Myakka City, FL. 

The goal of the Institute is to provide high school teachers the necessary scientific background, inspiration and specialized tools and techniques in a working science environment to enable them to create stimulating conservation curricula to take back to their classrooms and share with their colleagues.

The participants work with leading national scientists who share their expertise and provide hands-on activities designed to excite and motivate young science students. Using the Reserve's lemur colony and the native habitat as a resource, participants will also practice living day-to-day science through a field-training program where they learn proper fieldwork techniques under the guidance of professionals.

Director Wins National Conservation Fellowship

Penelope in forest at LCF

Penelope Bodry-Sanders is one of 40 conservationists to be selected for the TogetherGreen Conservation Fellowship program for 2008. 

The program, created by an alliance between the National Audubon Society and Toyota, is designed to foster leadership and creativity in promoting conservation and environmental projects across the country. 

Read more about the Fellowship and the project Penelope is working on at the TogetherGreen's web site.

Lemur Jewels Ltd.

LCF LogoLCF is proud to announce that the Lemur Jewels Ltd. website is up and running.  Uniquely designed handcrafted pieces in sterling silver and 18 kt. gold featuring six different lemurs by Valentin Magro might make the perfect and very unusual holiday gift. 

Primatology Field Methods Course

students in the field

Natalie Vasey, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, will visit the reserve in to conduct three intensive one-week sessions on primatology field methods. These courses, which can be taken for credit, are open to students and professionals at other institutions.

For complete information on this and other field training opportunities at LCF,click here.

Lemur Tales: Lessons from the Forest

Hillsdale NJ elementary

Alex Porpora, former LCF intern, is back at the Reserve offering distance learning classes for K-12 students.  This exciting new outreach program is designed to engage students in science education by enabling them to interact online with a scientist or researcher in the field. 

To find out more about the program visit ourOutreach Page

Leapin' Lemurs

Leapin' Lemurs cereal box

Leapin' Lemurs, a new organic EnviroKidz brand cereal from Nature's Path Organic, is on grocery and health food store shelves and 1% of the sales goes to the Lemur Conservation Foundation.  You can also order the cereal online.  Inside and outside of the box there is information about lemurs and endangered animals with games and puzzles.  It also tells about the Lemur Conservation Foundation and what we do. Included on the box is a form to send a contribution directly to LCF. Read more about Nature's Path's commitment to conservation and their efforts to educate children about environmental causes.

Product information
 Nature's Path Organic
 EnviroKidz Web Site

The Ako Project  

Ako book cover

The Ako Project produces storybooks on the lemurs of Madagascar, involves and aids primary school teachers, and provides posters about Madagascar’s forest habitats. more...


Association of Zoos & Aquariums                                     
P.O. Box 249, Myakka City, Florida 34251 | 941-322-8494 | copyright ©2009 Lemur Conservation Foundation                                                              
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