Myakka City Lemur Reserve: A conservation education diamond in the rough


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Myakka City Lemur Reserve: A conservation education diamond in the rough
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis
Taylor, Jabari
School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla
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Subjects / Keywords:
Habitat Design


My project deals with creating a respecting natural Florida habitat that will serve to host some of Madagascar's most endangered primates-lemurs. The reserve hosts several species of lemurs and thus, there habitat needs are just as varied. I designed a 10 acre "island" on the site that will serve as an additional forest enclosure for lemurs to be kept. It also addresses the "human side" of the reserve's function by providing sustainable housing units on site that can house researchers, interns, and special guests. Additionally, an area is set aside for production of food for the lemurs via a grove of fruit trees and a greenhouse.
General Note:
Landscape Architecture capstone project

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Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Flordia
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All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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A Senior Capstone by Jabari Taylor Spring 2013 Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Advisor: Bob Grist Acknowledgements 4 Introduction 6 The Lemur Conservation Foundation History 8 Mission 10 Site Analysis 12 Location 14 Proximity 15 Topography 16 Soils 17 Site Features 18 Main Enclosure 19 Toomey Woods 20 Red Dog Woods 21 Users 22 Synthesis 23 Goals and Objectives 24 Concept 26 Masterplan 27 Site Plan 28 Toomey Woods 30 Eco-Bungalow Village 32 Penelope Island 34-39 Summary 40 Appendix 42 Species Profiles 44 Case Studies 46 References 50


4 5 Acknowledgements I would like to sincerely thank the Lemur Conservation Foundation for allow ing me to do my capstone on their organization and property. A special thanks to Lee Nesler and Pattie Walsh for touring me around the re serve, answering my questions and for passing along any necessary resources. Additionally, a special thanks to Catherine Olteanu for giving my project a voice through LCFs web blog. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.


6 7 Introduction T he Myakka City Lemur Reserve is a conservation institution belonging to the Lemur Conservation Founda tion that is located in a small rural farm town called Myakka City in the eastern part of Manatee County, Fl. Surround ed on all sides by agricultural and rural residential land uses, this 100 acre site hosts an impressive gradient of different ecosystems. The reserve is home to 44 Madagascan primates called lemurs that are kept here in close to natural condi tions in large forest enclosures. There are additional holding facilities that host several indoor indoor/outdoor enclo sures of varying size (usually around 8x8) where lemurs are kept when not free-ranging within the large enclosures. W hile the lemurs are not native to the Florida, they have adapted to live in these enclosures with the daily assistance of the Lemur Conservation Foundation staff. They have no detri mental impact on the landscape and in terspecies conflict between the lemurs and native Florida fauna is prevented through various measures of security. T his institution is not a zoo, as it is not open to the public. It serves primar ily as a research institution where scien tists, collegiate level students, and other special guests can come and do be havioral research on the lemurs in the enclosures. The reserve also participates in conservation breeding programs that ensure there will be a healthy genetic pool of these critically endangered pri mates outside of Madagascar that can fortify natural Madagascan populations if their numbers ever dwindle too low. I was introduced to this project by a zoo designers blog post about it. Her name is Stacey Tarpley and her blogs name is She toured the reserve in September 2012, and after her visit she wrote a review post of her experience and her thoughts of it as a zoo designer. I thought that this place had unique potential to be made into a capstone project that isnt regularly done. It fits into a very specialized niche that encompasses landscape architec ture and wildlife ecology. One of the main components of this project takes an interesting look at how native Flor ida habitat can be designed to suit the needs of these Madagascan organisms.


8 9 The Lemur ConservationFoundation I n the early 90s, Penelope Bodry-Sand ers visited Madagascar and fell in love with Lemurs and the cause to save them. While in Madagascar, she learned about the plight of the about 100 lemurs and how they are constantly losing habitat due to conversion to agricultural land and destruction from the harvest of rainforest trees. When she got back she decided that she had to dedicate herself to conserving and preserving these animals. She collaborated with le mur biologists in the United States, par ticularly at the Duke University Primate Center to come up with a way to have a huge impact on conservation efforts for lemurs. She was especially interest ed in conserving the no room on the ark species of lemurs. These are lemur species that arent showy and charis matic like the Ring-tailed (Eulemur cat ta) or Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) and dont get as much conservation attention in most typical zoo venues because they arent as marketable to visitors. Examples of these species are: Mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) Brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) Collared lemurs (Eulemur collaris) Sanfords lemurs (Eulemur sanfordi) T husly, in 1996, what is known today as the Lemur Conservation Foun dation (LCF) was founded as the Low er Primate Conservation Foundation (LPCF) as a 501 C tax-exempt organi zation. In the coming years, the reserve would take crucial steps in acquiring generous donations to help with the development of the site including the creation of the first forest enclosure in 1998. The first 11 lemurs were brought to the reserve from the Duke Uni versity Primate Center in 1999. Up to today, the LCF has continued to de velop and grow as a leading research institution for lemurs in the country History Examples of No room on the ark lemur species on left. Charasmatic/showy lemuts on right. Sanfords lemur Mongoose lemur Brown lemur Ring-tailed Lemur Red ruffed lemur


10 11 The Lemur ConservationFoundation T he conservation breeding that takes place on site is a part of the Asso ciation of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). These are national breeding programs aim to co operatively breed threatened or endan gered animals amongst AZA accred ited institutions. As mentioned before, the LCF specializes in breeding lemur species that are underrepresented in zoos because of their lack of showiness. A nother facet of the LCFs mission is research. The naturalistic setting in which the lemurs are kept at the re serve would facilitate an easy transition to the MCLRs sister reserve in the rain forest of Madagascar, if ever necessary. The large forest enclosures that the re serve hosts are meant to replicate habitat similar to what the lemurs would en counter in the wild. This setup makes it perfect for scientists and students to Mission come and do non-invasive observa tional research on the lemurs. This is the main reason that the reserve isnt open to the public. If visitors came to the reserve, they would disrupt the nat ural behavior of the lemurs. Addition ally, the lemurs are often hidden within the canopy of the forest and it would be difficult for visitors even see them. It takes a large amount of financial resources to go to Madagascar from the United States for lemur research. The Myakka City Lemur Reserve is a place within the US that research ers can go and get close to the same experience. Over the years, students and faculty from across the nation have come to the reserve for their research. F inally, the reserve also focuses a great deal of attention on education. College level students visit the reserve from various universities to do short term field training and techniques classes. The Mianatra Center for Lemur Stud ies, the newest building on the reserve, was started to be a unique educational resource that combines relevant books, papers, and journals for visitors to the reserve to utilize. Additionally, the re The Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF) is a small non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the primates of Madagascar through captive breeding, scientific research, education, and reintroduction. -LCF Mission Statement serve does presentations to schools and other youth organizations from the sur rounding area about lemurs and bio diversity conservation in Madagascar. T he LCF has graciously allowed me to use their beautiful reserve as the site for my capstone project and I am very grateful to them. The mission of the Lemur Conservation Foundation is a very important one, and I hope that my project will act in tandem with the reserves goals and mission to develop the reserve while ultimately conserving these organisms.


12 Site Analysis


14 15 T he Lemur Consevation Foundation is lo cated in Manatee county which is located in the central southwestern portion of the state. *Site indicated by red dot within county. Location Proximity Bradenton, Fl 27 miles Sarasota, Florida 22 miles Tampa, Florida (not shown) 45 miles Orlando, Fl (not shown) 95 miles


16 17 Topography Soils T he topography of the site is VERY flat, with portions of the site having less than .5% slope. Water moves from south to north through the site into both Long creek and its associated wetland to the north east or the flatwoods marsh to the northwest. From the site, water drains into the Flatford Swamp Preserve which lies to the north. This site lies within the north ern part of the Myakka River watershed. T he soils on the site, given their close proximity to a swamp, are slow draining. The upland parts of the site consist of Floridas state soil, Myak ka fine sand. The soils drain the fast est at the far southern tip of the prop erty (indicated by yellow on the map)


18 19 Open, Scrubby Pine Flatwoods Red Dog Woods Approximate .5% slope Flatwoods Marsh 12 Chainlink Fence w/ 3 of Hot wire on top (Typ.) Informal trailReed and Barbara Toomey Lemur PavilionFire truck turnaround Marilyn K. North Lemur Lodge Flatwoods Marsh (Typ.) Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies Pine Flatwoods0 100Lemur dome within Toomey Woods Enclosure -Dense Pinus elliotii stand Understory of Sabal minor and Serenoa repens Red Dog Woods -Sparsely planted with oaks. -grasses and Sereno repens dominate -Will become addition forest enclosure in the future Creek running through forest enclosure Lemur dome within forest enclosure Stormwater Pond (Typ.) Researcher House -4 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Oak hammock within forest enclosure -Canopy of mature Quercus spp., Pinus spp., and other associated hardwoods -Understory of Serenoa repens, Asimina sp., and other associated shrubs Serenoa Scrub WetlandForested Wetland73rd Ave East Service Road Site Features P hotos taken within the north enclosure. This is known as the Main enclosure. Dominated by Oak hammocks, this enclosure hosts the ideal habitat for the lemurs. The architecture of the oaks and associated hardwoods is more conducive to lemur locomotion and replicates the natural habitat of the lemurs more effectively. B elow is a photo composition of a lemur dome in the main forest enclosure. These hurricane proof domes are where the le murs are kep overnight and if cli mactic conditions arent conducive to the lemurs being free-ragning.


20 21 A bove is a photo composition of Toomey Woods, the south forest enclosure. The habitat within this enclosure is very different than in the other enlcosure. It is primarily Slash pine flatwoods. The slash pines do not offer the ideal habitat for the lemurs because the trunks of the trees are not easy to climb, and often break/fall off. A portion of the area was planted with oaks to modify the ecosys tem into ideal habitat. T he area pictured above is named Red Dog Woods. This clear serenoa prai rie with sparse pines is one of the clearest, flattest, and driest areas on the site. Within the reserves plan for future development, this area is set to become an additional forest enclosure. The span of time needed for this to happen will be in excess of 20 years. To help with the conversion of this area to ideal forest enclosure habitat, several oaks have been planted in the prairie but compete with the very vigorous Saw palmetto.


22 23 Users Cathariostachys madagascariensis 100 50 0 Opportunity for establishing multiple ecosystems Has been planted with several oaks Prone to res Opportunity for water feature Views from Welcome Center Not preferrable habit Opportunity to attract lemurs to multiple areas Most unsuitable for dev. Opportunity for boardwalk Opportunity for enclosure exp.Opportunity for warehouse, dorms, and camp area Close proximity to oces Service road accessOpportunity for Vet bldg. Opportunity for framed views onto Red Dog Woods Opportunity for Browse Garden Moderately suitable for development (avoid dev. if possible Opportunity for additional parkingOpportunity for Red Dog Woods Exp.Ideal habitat Thick understory. Muddy at times Preferable lemur habitat Clear understory Character OaksOpportunity to create a sense of entry to site Synthesis T here are various lemur species that live at the reserve As stated before, the reserve specializes in breeding underrep resented lemur species. In fact, the MCLR has 5 Eulemur sanfordi (Sanfords brown le mur). These are the majority of the Sanfords brown lemur that are left in captivity in the world. However, the reserve does house well represented lemur species such as Ring-tailed lemurs and Red ruffed lemurs. T he site focuses a lot of resources on the researchers and students that come to the reserve from educational institutions and universities across the country. A special user group that comes to the reserve is field train ing student groups. These are small groups (usually 6-8 students, plus at least one instruc tor) that come to the reserve, usually from undergraduate programs to learn field tech niques within the enclosures. The reserve provides a unique and very real experience short of having to all the way to Madagascar. Currently, the reserve hosts about 2-3 of these groups per year while they would like to host anywhere from 10-15 per year. They are con strained by the space that they have to hold the students which is limited to the Research ers House that can only accommodate up to 8 people. However, the reserve does offer more primitive housing in the form of prim itive campsites that can be rented over time. R esearchers come to the reserve as well to conduct non-invasive research on the le murs. There is a strict proposal and approval process that all researchers must go through, and there are a lot of restrictions as to what sort of research can be done with the enclosures to ensure the lemurs safety and to main tain the various troops in their natural state. T here are about 15 staff people that run the reserve daily, as well as a fluctuating number of volunteers throughout the year. Collectively, the staff has an extensive and well tenured background in animal hus bandry and veterinary services. Daily tasks include maintaining the enclosures, daily food preparation for the lemurs, and walk ing the grounds daily. The staff also facilitates presentations on conservation and biodiver sity to school children on site and off site.


24 25 E n v i r o n m e n t a l G o l a s L e m u r G o a l s H u m a n G o a l s Create habitat for the Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis) and Eastern lesser bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus griseus) *Species proles in AppendixMaximize ideal habitat within existing forest enclosuresDesign Red Dog Woods area of the reserve to be a multiple ecosystem forest enclosureCreate additional on-site housing for guestsInlcude program elements that will allow the reserve to be more self-sustainingMaximize the use of a low impact design approach`Preserve the appearance of the landscape where possible. T here are three facets to this project. Lemur goals are the most promi nent because lemurs are the group of us ers that require the most resources on site. I have chosen to include two new lemur species through my design. This will be achieved by designing Florida ecosys tems that can accommodate these lemurs. H apalemur griseus alaotrensis (Lac Aloatra gentle lemur) is a critically endangered lemur species and there is little conserva tion effort for them outside of Madagascar. There is no SSP (Strategic Survival Plan) for this species in the United States, so pro viding suitable habitat and thus providing the foundation for a breeding program of the Lac Alaotran gentle lemur would be a large step for conservation of this species as well as the development and prominence of the reserve as a conservation institution. H apalemur griseus griseus (Eastern less er bamboo lemur) was formerly kept at the reserve, however due to its specific dietary and habitat requirements the re serve was no longer able to accommodate the species. My goal is to create a spe cies specific habitat for this lemur as well. T he human dimension for this project is important as well. In the coming years, the reserve hopes to be able to accommo date more visitors on the site at one time. The reserve also wants to have the resources to perform more veterinary procedures and produce more food for the lemurs on site. An important aim of this project needs to account for these expected development plans. The researchers, student field research training groups, and other various visitors are a main source of revenue for the re serve so augmenting the capacity for these user groups is vital to the reserves growth. L astly, the reserve has a very admirable en vironmental view on development and how they create and modify habitat on site. The reserve doesnt plant nonnatives within the naturalized areas and wishes to keep the forest enclosures as native as possible. With the supplemental care of the keepers, the lemurs are completely capable of living in the free-ranging state that they do. Addition ally, the lemurs impact on the landscape is very negligible and they do not compromise the ecological function of the ecosystems. Goals and Objectives


26 27 Masterplan Housing Renovate Toomey Woods Additional Forest Enclosure Lemur Food Production Concepts B ased on my analysis, I have come up with this concept for my design. I arrived at this concept by analyzing each of the forest enclo sures and areas of important use and deciding the best solution that could maximize their opportunities. The most important areas of the site have such varying uses that it was imper ative that to take a micro approach to com ing up with one composite design solution.


28 29 0 75 175 Site Plan 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Fruit Tree Grove & Browse Production Greenhouse Eco-bungalow Village Enhanced Toomey Woods Event Area Penelope Island


30 31 1 2 3 3 2 1 Toomey Woods 25 0 50 Lemur Transit System Enclosure fencing (Existing to remain) Marilyn K. North Lemur Lodge (Existing to remain) Lemur Dome 1/4=1 1 T he design solution chosen for Toom ey woods is a renovation of the existing space. This is a direct response to the ma jor constraint of this enclosure which is the architecture of the trees. The main design feature is named the Lemur Transit Sys tem. This simple solution is a lateral system of elevated Cedar logs that will go through the enclosure providing enrichment and more ideal habitat. The logs shall be around 2 in diameter and the lengths can vary but shall not exceed 120. The logs will be sus pended by a series of x-crossed logs that will be born into the ground. The lateral log will lie where the other two support logs cross. T his transit system can be the building block as time goes on and can be aug mented by laying fallen pine trees against the Lemur Transit System. Over time this can grow into a complex structure that will be enriching to the lemurs and allow them an easier and more safe way to and through the canopy of the forest. There have already been smaller scale efforts at modifying the enclosure in such a way but this will be a more permanent fixture to Toomey woods. The system will optimize its journey through the areas of the enclosure that are more pine dominated. The areas that have been plant ed with oaks or have naturally occurring oaks are less in need of habitat modification.


33 32 25 0 50 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 7 8 9 9 8 7 6 2 Eco-Bungalow Village Fruit Tree Grove Warehouse (900 sq. ft.)-Connects to service roadGreenhouse (1800 sq. ft.) Researcher House (Existing to remain) Bungalow Village Gathering Area Eco-Bungalow (roughly 10x24)-14 Bungalows -Accomodates 2 people each -Materials to be local (from on site if possible)Boardwalk over Flatwoods Marsh Median with Entry Sign Trail Through Pine scrub T he way in which I have chosen to ac commodate the expected increase of visitors on site is by creating a village of eco-bungalows. These eco-bungalows are a sustainable way of creating housing on site. The bungalow village was arranged us ing the Ecolodge design guidelines and my goal was to develop the village in areas that were already relatively clear and I did not remove any large trees. The architecture of the bungalows will be a fusion of Mal agasy and Floridian bungalow architecture and will be made from local materials. If possible, the materials will be from the site. I n conjunction with the village, I have pro posed a fruit tree grove and a greenhouse. Currently, the reserve receives donations of fruits and veggies from nearby grocery stores but the reserve would like to be able to pro duce food for the lemurs on site. The reserve has attempted a small browse gardens be fore but they are eaten by native fauna. A greenhouse will allow the browse (green such as lettuce that is fed to the lemurs) to be produced year round and under very specific and controllable conditions. A clustered fruit tree grove that can be fenced off will keep animals away from the fruit while allowing the production of a number of different native and non-native fruit trees. Fruit that could be grown the grove include: Persimmon (native), Loquats, Mangoes, and grape vines (native).


35 34 25 0 50 15 0 30 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 Pine/Sand Live Oak Flatwoods Live Oak Hammock Bamboo Stand Palm Hammock/Emergent Wetlands Channel System Lemur Dome Entry Boardwalk Wier Giant BambooCathariostachys madagascariensis Penelope Island T his 10-acre multi ecosystem forest en closure was the main undertaking of this project and will become the focal point of the reserve. Surrounded completely by water, this enclosure could house several troops of lemurs of various species. Using the existing main enclosure as a model for ideal habitat, I have proposed the cre ation of several oak hammocks throughout the island that will be the centers for the various lemur troops. While the oak ham mocks are the ideal habitat for the vast ma jority of the species housed at the reserve that come from dense rainforests in Mada gascar, the Ring-tailed lemur (Eulemur catta) comes from arid deserts and has adapted to a versatile life on the ground or in the can opy of the dense forest. Therefore a troop of these lemurs could be centralized in a portion of the pine flatwoods area. For the other species of lemur, the pine flatwoods that surrounds the oak hammocks acts as a matrix that psychologically and physically defines the extents of the troops territories. T he channel system around the enclo sure also acts as a firebreak. Penelope Island sits on the highest area of the site which is prone to fires and has burned before. The habitat that has been created within the enclosure is very vital to the le murs and the reserve so protecting it is of utmost importance. With at least a 20 foot width surrounding the whole enclosure, if a large fire ever threatened the reserve this en closure would be safe from the fires reach. In fact, I would advise the creation of an Emer gency Action Plan that would have lemurs relocated into Penelope Island in case of a fire. T here are two species specific ecosystems that have been included in this design. The Palm hammock and surrounding emer gent wetland is habitat for Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis (Lac Alaotra gentle lemur) which comes from the reed marshes of the Lac Alaotra, the largest lake in Madagascar. This was one of the target species that the reserve doesnt (cant) house in my goals and objec tives. The hammock is about 7000 sq. ft. and was designed after a Lac Alaotra gentle lemur habitat at the Jersey Wildlife Trust which is 8611 sq. ft. and houses a single troop of 8 lemurs. T he Bamboo island within Penelope Is land has been designed for Hapalemur griseus griseus (Eastern lesser bamboo le mur). This lemur was formerly kept at the reserve, however due to its very specific husbandry needs (constant supply of new bamboo shoots) which the reserve couldnt accommodate at the time, they discontinued working with this lemur species. Given the growth habits of bamboo, it was important to isolate this habitat on an island of its own so that management of the bamboo could be easily monitored. The bamboo species needed to be the dominant species on this island is Cathariostachys madagascariensis (Giant bamboo). While this is not a native Florida species, its inclusion in this design is a critical step for conservation of a critically en dangered species and the design has been executed with a very conscious effort to protect and conserve the Florida landscape. A design feature such as this would take an immense amount of financial resourc es to complete but will produce a product that could make the Myakka City Lemur Reserve the leading research facility in the country. Island enclosures such as this one give a naturalistic feel to the enclosure, and the reserve as a whole and maximize the reserves potential as a conservation institution aimed at the preservation of all lemur species.


37 25 0 50 15 0 30 Section A-A*5:1 Longitudinal exaggeration A AB B 65 Elevational depressions (Oak Hammocks) Emergent Wetlands Channel Section B-B1/4=1 Gabion BoxesLemur side of channel graded more subtly as a safety precaution Pond diusers needed throughout channel system to maintain healthy channel Flat Se dge (Cyperus od oratus) Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) Southern Cut grass (Leersia hexandra)-Back up pump necessary for times of extreme drought. -Water elevation at 64.4 for the majority of the year S pecial care was taken when grad ing this enclosure to make sure that it would function naturally. Again, using the main enclosures ecologi cal characteristics as a model, I graded the oak hammocks at a 65 elevation. This is this elevation at which the oak hammocks have developed in the main enclosure. This would make those areas mesic to hydric even and they might gather water during times of heavy rain. This is an issue that the staff of the reserve has come to deal with given the number of wetlands that intersect with the main enclosure. T he channel surrounding Penelope Island has been designed to function as a healthy water system that will stay filled year round. The perched water table in this area is at 64.4, so I graded the channel to a depth of 60. A system of pond diffusers needs to be imple mented to keep the water in the channel ox ygenated so that it does not become stagnant. I n order to maximize the area of within the enclosure, the bottom portion of the channel was graded with a 50% slope. Gabion boxes are proposed to hold the grade back in that portion of the channel. The island side of the channel has been graded with a 25% slope for the safety of the lemurs. In the past, water moats have been safety hazards for lemurs, but this design aims to minimize those concerns. T he bank vegetation should consist of plants that will both stabilize the shoreline and provide food for the lemurs. The pro posed plants in the accompanying graphic are all native Floridian plants that are related to Madagascan plants that these lemurs have been observed eating by scientists in the wild.


38 39 25 0 50 Ring-tailed lemur (Eulemur catta) Red rued lemur (Varecia rubra) Eastern lesser bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus) Alaotran Gentle Lemur (Hapalemur alaotrensis) Mongoose Lemur (Eulemur mongoz) EM HA EC EC HG VR EM EC VR EM EC VR Hotwire around entry to keep lemurs contained within Penelope Island Two door entry Boardwalk (Typ.) T he issue with having an island enclosure such as this is getting in and out with out the lemurs escaping. This conceptual di agram explores the concept of a functional lemur-safe entry. The entries into the exist ing enclosures utilize a two door entry sys tem that includes the hot wire on the top 3 of the fencing to ensure that the lemurs do not escape. This design adapts that ap proach to a boardwalk entry. The same two door entry is used and hot wire is applied to the top of the inside door. Hot wire-tipped wings extend from both sides of the inside door and extend backwards into the chan nel. This will keep the lemurs in without having to extend a fence around the entire enclosure which becomes a maintenance issue, as feral hogs have compromised the existing enclosures fencing in the past.


40 41 Summary T his project is a very unique capstone, but it applies the same process and problem solving skills that typical design takes. Every site and project has issues; this project takes a certain expertise to solve them. T he next steps with this project are to present this to the LCF at the Myakka City Lemur Reserve. This is a lofty solution to the reserves problem but these solutions are what I think will best suit the reserves needs. I t has been an amazing experience doing this project. I have learned so much about lemur conservation and habitat design. Hopefully, I can take the skills learned to a design firm that specializes in designing for wildlife.


42 43 Appendix


44 45 Species Profiles Eastern lesser bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus)Description: Small brown to gray housecat sized lemurs. 2.1 lbs on average. Females 26.4 Males 26.7Habitat: Humid lowland montane forests. Sometimes found in forests without bamboo.Diet: Mostly the tender new shoots of giant bamboo (Cathariostachys madagascariensis). Additional food includes grasses, other types of bamboo, fruit, and leaves of various plants.Conservation Status: Vulnerable Alaotran G entle Lemur (Hapalemur alaotrensis)Description: Small brown to gray housecat sized lemurs. 2.7 lbs on average. Little to no sexual dimorphism in size Habitat: Floating reed beds along the shore of Lac Alaotra in Madagascar.*The only primate whose habitat is strictly a wetlandDiet: Strictly folivorous, eating the shoots of 11 recorded plant species. Eats mostly reeds, and wetland grass species.Conservation Status: Critically Endangered


46 47 Case Studies O pening its gates in 1971, The Apenheul Primate Park is one of the first zoological parks to explore a semi-free ranging design. The park started at a mere 1 hectacre in the corner of Park Berg en Bos, but is now nes tled on 13 hectares of dense Fagus and Quer cus mixed woodlands The unique visitor experience is distinguished by the visceral interactions with primates in a semi-natural environment. Walkways through the park are accessible to visitors and inhabitants alike. Large primates, however, such as the gorillas and orangutans are kept on large, spacious islands separated by moats from the public. A penheul is home to the largest captive gorilla troop in the zoo-world, tallying in at 18 members. Over 30 viable offspring have been produced from this troop and have been utilized worldwide for various conservation efforts. The semi-free range design of the park aids in the stress reduc tion and emulation of natural reproductive indicators in the inhabitants, and therefore, such reproductive success has been possible. T he design and evolution of the park has been molded by a program that is pursuant to the parks mission: to encourage visitors to develop a greater appreciation for primates. It has also had to respond to the climactic attributes of the site. The park is only open for a portion of the year; during the coldest months, the park closes to the public. T o reduce the amount of contact be tween the parks visitors and its inhabi tants, there are clear rules regarding feeding and touching the animals. The park also has escape paths designed for the primates in areas where visitor crowding might occur to reduce potential stress on the animals. T he types of species kept in the open-air areas are also integral to the success of this concept. New World primates (squirrel monkeys, gibbons, marmosets, etc.), which are often smaller and more docile than Old World primates are the ones that are free to roam in the heavily inhabited areas. T his park design concept has been the precedent for many other parks, but still remains one of the most embracing of this idea. My design for the Myakka City Lemur Reserve will use this concept as a precedent as a means of engaging its users and evok ing a sense of conservation for these species. Apenheul Primate Park Apeldoorn, Netherlands`


48 49 Case Studies T he Durrell Wildlife Park (formerly the Jersey Zoo), is a 32 acre zoological park situated on pristine farmland in the town of Trinity, on the isle of Jersey in the English Channel. The park was founded in 1959 by naturalist Gerald Durrell. The park is also headquarters for The Durrell Wildlife Con servation Trust (formerly the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust), a conservation organiza tion aimed at saving species from extinction. O ne of the parks many conservation focuses is the Alaotran Gentle Lemur. A breeding program for this critically endan gered species from Northeast Madagascar was established in 1988 as a conservation strategy. In 1997, the breeding program was fortified with 10 additional wild-caught lemurs to increase the genetic diversity of the breed ing program. Soon after the addition of the new lemurs, the park chose to create a larger exhibit for the conspiracy (group of lemurs). A wetland habitat alongside a natural stream was modified to be the site for the new enclosure. Alaotran Gentle Lemurs are na tive to the reed and papyrus beds surround ing Lac Alaotra, Madagascars largest lake. T he exhibit is 800m2 and is planted with bamboo, papyrus (a specialization of wild Alaotran Gentle Lemurs), reeds, and various shrubs. There are also three mature willows in the exhibit that were already there. Any plants that have been known to be toxic to this lemur species were removed/avoided. T here is a heated shed for the lemurs to use as they please with its own outside mesh area. The exhibit is enclosed by a 1.24m electric fence. This was the first time this type of fencing was used for this species. T he exhibit is viewable to the public from a raised boardwalk and is adjacent to the parks Madagascar Teal aviary which pro vides a unique teaching opportunity. The lemurs seem to occupy the front portion of the exhibit and spend most of their time for aging in the willow trees. One of the major benefits (and goals) of this naturalistic enclo sure is the evocation of natural foraging be havior. The exhibit design is limited by pre dation and the electrical fence that surrounds it. However, the design has proven to be a successful and the conspiracy has produced viable offspring, including a pair of twins. Alaotran Gentle Lemur Exhibit Durrell Wildlife Park, Trinity, Jersey`


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