If you are interested in primate conservation in general, you might also like to learn more about lemur conservation in particular. As part of this line of voluntary work, your job as a volunteer will be to do your part to ensure that lemurs do not become extinct. Lemurs have been on the red list of endangered species for quite some time now as population numbers are very low on an international level. This is why your help as a lemur conservation volunteer is very much needed. Below, you cannot only find out why lemurs are in danger of becoming extinct in the first place. Instead, we would also like to tell you what becoming a lemur conservation volunteer abroad is going to entail. In turn, this information can help you decide whether volunteering is really something that you are interested in.
Why are lemurs in danger?
If lemurs were not in danger of becoming extinct, then lemur conservation efforts would not be needed worldwide. However, unfortunately both unregulated and illegal hunting as well as habitat losses continue to be great causes for concern. In Madagascar in particular, annual burning actions, which are meant to create new pastures for the local livestock, are putting lemurs at risks. Their natural habitats are already restricted and are becoming even more restricted due to such regular practices. Moreover, overgrazing following the creation of these new pastures is also a huge issue.
In addition, large numbers of trees are required for local charcoal production, which thus hurts lemurs as their natural habitats are slowly disappearing altogether. In some areas, lemur conservation efforts are of vital importance since these primates are even being hunted for food. On top of that, many people still like to keep lemurs as pets, which is further hurting the global lemur population. Sadly, the following factors are also threatening lemurs and putting them in danger. As you can see, the threat of the extinction of this primate species is all too real.
- Global warming (such as frequent droughts that are responsible for habitat losses)
- Climate change
On this day, the local lemur population in some forests is as low as 60 animals. Even though there are about 2,500 lemurs that live in captivity such as in zoos, this is not enough to ensure the survival of this species in the long run. Hence, your work as alemur conservation volunteer is all the more important. You can do something to help protect these primates from dying out altogether!
What are my tasks as volunteer in lemur conservation?
If saving these primates is of great importance to you on a personal level, singing up for voluntary work in this area is the way to go. When volunteering inlemur conservation, there are a number of things that you can do to prevent these primates from dying out. What kind of work you will be expected to complete is going to very much depend on your lemur conservation program and its requirements. However, you will most likely get a chance to get up close and personal with lemurs as alemur conservation volunteer. This could either mean caring for orphan and injured lemurs or monitoring the local lemur population. However, education is also hugely important as part of any lemur conservation efforts. The goal is to educate both the local population and general public about lemurs and why they need to be saved.
As such, you might be asked to teach a class to schoolchildren or tourists so that they can learn more. Community outreach might be part of your job description at your lemur conservation program, too. Supporting habitat conservation will be just as important. Furthermore, lemur conservation might go hand in hand with eco tourism. This is often the case in Madagascar, where your chosen lemur conservation program might be located. In fact, even just becoming an eco tourists can be very helpful. After all, lemurs are one of the attractions of eco tourism. If they were to die out altogether, eco tourism would thus lose one of its attractions, which could mean a decrease in the number of visitors. Hence, eco tourism can actually be beneficial to the survival of lemurs, too.
Where can I volunteer with lemurs?
As you can see, you will be expected to complete a wide range of very different tasks as a lemur conservation volunteer. This not only means that you are unlikely to get bored, but you can even learn new skills in the process. Some office work such as data input will likely be required. If you bring marketing or web development skills to the table, your lemur conservation program will probably be very happy to make use of these skills as well. In addition, you could be asked to call potential donors or help with fundraising efforts.
Why is lemur conservation so rewarding?
Becoming a lemur conservation volunteer might mean that you are going to have the time of your life. While you will obviously be doing good as a lemur conservation volunteer, this does not mean that you will not be enjoying yourself at the same time. In particular, lemur conservation programs in Madagascar are very popular, since most people will never get to travel to this part of the world. If experiencing Madagascar first-hand is something that you are very much interested in and have dreamt of for a long time, then lemur conservation could be for you. As part of a big team of lemur conservation volunteers, you will also get to make new friends. Some of these friends might even become your friends for life.
Further consider that your time as a lemur conservation volunteer can prepare you for your career. This is especially true if you want to become a zookeeper or study biology. While volunteering abroad, you will get to immerse yourself in a foreign culture. This in and of itself will likely make you grow as a person. Hence, you will return home a lot more mature. Above all, being a lemur conservation volunteer will be great fun. Most people will never get to interact with lemurs on such a personal level, wherefore you should consider yourself lucky. Knowing that you are doing something good for this species is moreover going to make you feel good, too.