This week I had a couple of days break from working with the Varecia team due to issues with radio tracking collars. After treating myself to a day of relaxing back at camp, I spent a few days going out with Savanna and the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) team. I’ll be working with this team after my five weeks with Varecia is up, so I was keen to see what it was like – turned out to be some of the best days I’ve had since arriving here!
Simus feed on bamboo, and are found much lower to the ground than Varecia. They’re also far more inquisitive. While Varecia seem completely oblivious to the team of researchers monitoring them, simus are eager to leap around branches right near you to suss out what you’re up to.
We spent one of the days monitoring a young female lemur called Ghost. She’s named for her striking fur colour mutation which makes her mostly white rather than the typical brown. She and her friends were really active and put on a great show for us.
On the whole, simus monitoring is much easier than Varecia, so I’m glad that after the physically and mentally exhausting work at Voatvavy is over I’ll be able to take it slightly easier with these cuties!
This week was really fantastic, I’ve definitely felt like I’m settling into the routine of life here. My stomach is starting to cooperate with me, I’m sleeping slightly better, I can buy food by myself, and have made a lot of lovely Malagasy friends. Bring on week 4!