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.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gammon graduated from University of Central Florida in December 2019 with a bachelor's in biology and a minor in environmental studies. With his bachelor's degree focusing on ecology and conservation, Jeffrey Gammon has a deep compassion for wildlife ecology. Through his efforts researching and rehabilitating animals, Jeffrey Gammon's goal is to not only understand the world's biodiverse fauna but to conserve them as well.



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