The National Zoological Park is a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The Smithsonian includes 18 museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoo. Open to the public 364 days a year, the zoo is home to 2,000 individual animals of nearly 400 different species.
Lemurs at the Smithsonian National Zoo
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo currently houses four species of lemurs:
- black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegate),
- ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and
- red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufus) in their mixed species Lemur Island exhibit, and
- red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra) in the Small Mammal House.
Supporting Lemur Conservation
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo actively participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan for both ring-tailed lemurs and red ruffed lemurs. In addition, the National Zoo staff are active members of the (AZA) Prosimian Taxon Advisory Group and the keepers engage visitors on a daily basis with educational lemur talks that highlight the conservation issues surrounding these endangered species.