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Blue-eyed Black Lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Life in Managed Care

Managed breeding and care

  • History of managed breeding
    • Efforts began between 1984 and 1986 (Volampeno 2009)
  • Summary of reproduction
    • Age at first reproduction (from Bettinger et al. 2010)
      • Reproductive at younger ages in managed care than in the wild
        • Males reproductive at c. 1.5 years of age
        • Females reproductive at c. 2 years of age
    • Reproductive for at least 15 years (from Porton 2012)
      • Oldest age at reproduction
        • Male sired offspring at nearly 18 years of age
        • Female gave birth at over 16 years of age
  • Notes on animal care (from Gomis et al. 2009)
    • Diet
      • Carrot, cucumber, celery, lettuce, and other vegetables
      • Apples, pear, bananas, and other fruits
      • Supplemental protein sources also provided
    • Obesity
      • Many lemur species are susceptible to excessive weight gain
      • Special care is taken to avoid over-feeding and to provide appropriate nutrition

History of Managed Care


  • Historical notes (from Lernould 2003)
    • 1983-1986: Consortium of zoological organizations formed to develop breeding programs to help save endangered lemurs
      • Mulhouse Zoo also sponsored in situ field studies to expand understanding of blue-eyed black lemur distribution
    • 1986: first births under managed care, Mulhouse Zoo
      • Dam (mother), Noortje, gave birth to a female infant
        • Sired (fathered) by Koot
      • Dam, Saartje, gave birth to a female infant
        • Sired by Koot
  • Current population (from Moisson and Prieur 2007 unless otherwise noted)
    • 30 individuals, as of 31 December 2007
      • 15 males, 15 females; distributed across 13 institutions
      • Descended from 6 founders
        • Founders imported from the wild, to Mulhouse and Strasbourg zoos, in the 1980s
          • Individuals were rescued in a forest which was in the process of being totally destroyed (Lernould 2003)
    • No significant population growth since 2007 (Schwitzer et al. 2014)

North American

  • Historical notes (from Porton 2012 unless otherwise noted)
    • 1985: first individuals housed at Duke Lemur Center
      • 2 males (Bogart and Tracy) and 2 females (Hepburn and Bacall)
    • 1986: first birth under managed care, Duke Lemur Center
      • Dam, Hepburn, gave birth to a female infant
        • Sired by Tracy
  • Current population
    • 28 individuals, as of 30 June 2012 (from Porton 2012 unless otherwise noted)
      • 19 males, 9 females; distributed across 11 institutions
      • Descended from 6 founders (Bettinger et al. 2010)
        • Founders imported from the wild, to Duke Lemur Center, in the 1980s (Bettinger et al. 2010; Porton 2012)

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA)

Historical notes

  • No blue-eyed black lemurs have been housed at the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Porton 2012; ZIMS 2015)
    • Plan to incorporate the species in the upcoming Africa Rocks exhibit

Blue-eyed Black Lemurs at Duke Lemur Center

blue-eyed black lemur

Image credit: © D Haring/Duke Lemur Center. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission from the artist.

Page Citations

Bettinger et al. (2010)
Gomis et al. (2009)
Lernould (2003)
Moisson and Prieur (2007)
Porton (2012)
Schwitzer et al. (2014)
Volampeno (2009)
ZIMS (2015)

SDZWA Library Links