Lemur Education in Madagascar

$600 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 16 people in 18 months
Corey Romberg  LEESBURG, FL
My name is Corey Romberg, and I am a conservation educator. Next summer I'll be going to Madagascar to educate local children about lemurs and inspire them to take conservation action to protect lemurs in the wild. I will be implementing crafts, games, storytelling, and a variety of other interpretive techniques.

The children of Madagascar hold the keys to the future of the animals and the environment of their country. There is no hope for lemurs unless we can groom the future generation to be proud of their natural heritage, and give them the knowledge and tools to make a difference when they grow up. The future of Madagascar is in their hands. Will you help me ensure a brighter future for lemurs through education and inspiration?

About Me

I have been working in the conservation education field for the last 6 years. In this time, I have had the immense pleasure and important responsibility of  communicating information about animals, informing the public about the threats many animals face in the wild, and inspiring people of all ages to take conservation action to protect animals around the globe.  I currently serve as an Education Adivsor for the Association of Zoos & Aquarium's Prosimian Taxon Advisory Group,  where I help to design and execute lemur educational materials, messaging, curriculum, and activities for zoos and schools across the U.S. I am also a Conservation Education blogger for the Lemur Conservation Network. 

Why lemurs?

Over the last couple years, I have developed a particular interest and passion for lemurs. Upon learning of the plight of the lemur, I made it my mission to use my position to do what I can to promote awareness of lemurs and the threats they face in the wild. The most recent IUCN report stated that 94% of lemurs are threatened with extinction, making them the most threatened group of mammals on Earth. Yet not enough people know enough about lemurs outside of the animated movie, and they certainly do not realize how endangered they are. The people of Madagascar are faced with the choice to protect the lemurs or feed their family every day, and many do not know the importance of lemurs. Lemurs are only found on the island of Madagascar. They are the oldest living primates remaining on this planet, the first link to human evolutionary past. We can learn so much about our own beginnings from the lemurs. Lemurs are the maintainers and creators of Madagasacar's forests through seed dispersal and pollination. Every other living thing in Madagascar depends on lemurs, including the humans. The people need the forests to make feed their families and make money, and the lemurs could be worth millions of dollars in ecotourism if they are protected. Protecting the lemurs all starts with education.

Why is education so important?

As a conservation educator, I am a strong believer in the power of education to influence behavior and attitude changes, and I have seen the results first hand. Innovative and engaging conservation education is key to inspiring conservation action. As famed conservationist Baba Dioum once said, “We will only conserve what we love, we will only love what we understand, and we will only understand what we are taught.”

Education is needed in Madagascar to help interpret the animals and tell their stories, adding meaning, and creating an emotional connection that leads to a behavior or attitude change, and instills a sense of pride in the Malagasy peoples' natural heritage. The children of Madagascar hold the keys to the lemurs' future. By exposing children to the importance of lemurs at a young age and ways they can protect them via fun and engaging activities, we can shape and grow the future conservationists that one day might just put an end to the eminent extinction of lemurs.

Educating in Madagascar

Nowhere in the world is lemur conservation education more necessary than in Madagascar itself. The children of Madagascar will be the ones who grow up to protect forests, lemurs, and all wildlife of Madagascar, if they are effectively educated from a young age. My goal is to take the skills I have learned and the activities and programs I have developed for children in the United States to Madagascar to educate Malagasy youth, and do my part to help create a brighter future for the animals, people, and environment of Madagascar. I am hoping to join with the great non-profit organization Lemur Love in the summer of 2016 to lead their conservation education efforts regarding lemurs in the pet trade, a growing problem throughout the country.

Illegal Lemur Pet Trade:

A shocking new study revealed that more than 28,000 lemurs have been affected by the illegal pet trade since 2010 (Reuter et al., 2015)! The practice of illegally capturing wild lemurs and keeping them as pets or selling them locally, and/or using them as photo-props to make money off of tourists is now quite common and widespread across the island. The majority of pet lemurs are kept in terrible conditons, fed unnatural diets, and often die in captivity.

What Will I Be Doing?

I will be working along with  Dr. Marni LaFleur and Dr. Tara Clarke assessing and studying confiscated captive lemurs, located at the Lemur Rescue Center (LRC) in the Reniala Reserve near Toliara, in order to make recommendations for their care and hopefully future release back into the wild. The LRC is also a non-profit which Lemur Love has recently partnered. They are the only facility in Madagascar that houses and rehabilitates lemurs that have been rescued from the illegal pet and bushmeat trades. My main role on the project will be initiation of the education plan. 

Education Plan:

1. Administer pre-evaluation surveys to determine local knowledge regarding:

1) Madagascar's biodiversity (e.g., lemurs are endemic to Madagascar),
2) why lemurs are threatened,
3) whether or not they think lemurs make good pets, why or why not, and
4) awareness of the Lemur Rescue Center (LRC) and its mission.

2. Conservation education for kids: Utilize education materials (lessons, games, activities) to teach local children about Madagascar's biodiversity, why it is special, why it should be preserved, and how to be active particpants in conservation.

Conservation education will be carried out in the villages near the Lemur Rescue Center, as well as outside Tsimanampetsotsa National Park.

Thank you so much for your support!! And, thank you for loving lemurs!!

For more information about my work and Lemur Love's work, please check out the following links:

My blog for Lemur Conservation Network:
http://lemurconservationnetwork.org/author/corey/

Lemur Love, Inc.: http://www.lemurlove.org
+ Read More
Update 4
Posted by Corey Romberg
18 months ago
   Share
The World Lemur Festival is one month away! Check out my blog post about last year's World Lemur Festival ( http://lemurconservationnetwork.org/a-look-back-at-the-2014-world-lemur-festival/), and take a look at my Go Fund Me page to support my efforts to continue lemur education in Madagascar next summer!
+ Read More
Update 3
Posted by Corey Romberg
18 months ago
   Share
If all my Facebook friends donated just $10, the project would be fully funded and then some! Please take a look and donate anything you can to support a great and important cause!
+ Read More
Update 2
Posted by Corey Romberg
18 months ago
   Share
There is now a link to my GoFundMe on Orlando Theme Park Daily! Check it out! http://paper.li/slcut/1310131916?edition_id=650f26e0-596c-11e5-9579-0cc47a0d1605
+ Read More
Update 1
Posted by Corey Romberg
18 months ago
   Share
Already $120 raised in the first 3 days! Thank you so much to my supporters so far! But we've still got a long way to go. Any amount, no matter how small, will help!
This cuteness is what I'm working to protet!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.

$600 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 16 people in 18 months
Created September 8, 2015
Corey Romberg  
ER
$20
evan romberg
14 months ago(Monthly Donation)
ER
$20
evan romberg
15 months ago(Monthly Donation)
ER
$20
evan romberg
16 months ago(Monthly Donation)
ER
$20
evan romberg
17 months ago(Monthly Donation)
SG
$50
Shannon & Gabe
17 months ago
$100
Anonymous
18 months ago
DC
$10
Debi Calderone
18 months ago

Corey, I wish you all the best in your adventure.

RT
$100
Renee Topper
18 months ago

Great opportunity! Good luck!

JC
$10
Jamie Chadwick
18 months ago

Awesome adventure and wishing you all the best. See you in Van City!

&C
$20
"Stingray" Thomas Cook
18 months ago

Good luck with the project!

Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.
or
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now

Pledge now, give later.

Pledge Now
You won't be charged for this pledge. We'll let Corey know that you have pledged support.
Thank you!
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.