Mr. Frank Logiudice
The two captive red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra) at the Central Florida Zoo experienced a more temperate climate and utilized a differing habitat than they would in their native range, Madagascar. Proper management of the species in captivity is crucial for its long-term survival as they are critically endangered. Over a four month period, heat index temperature, lemur behavior, and habitat utilization data were collected via an instantaneous scan sample. Variables were analyzed to characterize how variations in heat index alter habitat utilization and behavior of the captive lemurs. As the heat index increased, habitat use became more restricted with a bias towards shaded areas. Similarly, behavior diversity declined as heat index rose, with a heavy bias towards loafing. However, at every heat index range, both utilization of the enclosure’s shaded portion and loafing behaviors were disproportionately more common than any other location or behavior. Data from this study suggested that heat index temperature influenced both the behavior diversity and habitat utilization in the two captive Varecia rubra.
"Effects of Varying Heat Indexes on Habitat Utilization and Behavior on Captive Red-Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia Rubra),"
The Pegasus Review: UCF Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 13:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/urj/vol13/iss1/4