December 2021 Edition
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BZS launch Micro Forest Project
The Madagascar Exhibit has 3 new residents!
Christmas Shopping at BAMZ
Due to the sudden increase in Covid-19 cases in our community, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo are closing the walk-through exhibits in the zoo. However, the Aquarium, Museum, shop, grounds and playground will remain open.

To read the press statement about the closure in the Royal Gazette, please click the below image.
BZS launch Micro Forest Project
To coincide with the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS), in partnership with RenaissanceRe, initiated a pilot project for native woodland restoration around Bermuda. The BZS Micro Forest Project kicked off in November by clearing invasive trees and shrubs and planting a landscaped roadside verge of Bermuda native-compatible and endemic trees at a site along the North Shore Road.
Colin Brown, BZS president, stated, "The BZS tree planting strategy and detailed landscaping plan have been reviewed, ensuring landscaping within the site is acceptable. The success of the Trunk Island Living Classroom restoration of native flora and fauna is a great model. Since 2015, casuarinas have been eradicated, and 50% of the island has been restored. In addition, more than 1,250 community and corporate volunteers have contributed 5,742 hours culling invasives and planting 901 natives and endemics.
"Planting trees and enhancing woodland ecosystems can be a highly successful approach that conscientious individuals, schools, organisations, and governments can embrace as they look to combat the challenges of climate change. The BZS pilot project proposes to promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage by creating several sustainable micro forests".
BZS staff and volunteers led the project with financial and planning support by founding corporate sponsor RenaissanceRe and the Department of Parks. The venture was designed using combined concepts from Dr David Wingate's life-long reforestation project in Bermuda, recent work by the BZS on Trunk Island, and the Miyawaki Model pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki.
The Miyawaki Method empowers those who have little space to grow dense urban forests on small patches of land. Considering the diminished space available for afforestation in Bermuda, the BZS is adopting this method for school playgrounds, roadsides, or public parks to simulate a natural forest quickly.
Dr David Wingate OBE, Conservation Officer for the Bermuda Government Parks Department from 1966 to his retirement in 2000, said: "Bermuda is a perfect place to support micro forests and, in fact, already has had decades of success undertaking native woodland restoration projects at Nonsuch in 1962, and
more recently, Trunk Island, Walsingham Reserve, Sears Cave, Somerset Long Bay and Pitman's Pond".
"Micro forests grow in two to three years and are self-sustaining", says Dr Wingate, "and communities across Bermuda have already benefitted from the small woodlands we have created over the years. They help lower temperatures, reduce air and noise pollution, attract local birds and insects, and create carbon sinks - anything that absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases".
This new public-private partnership tree-planting project directly supports the BZS mission to inspire appreciation and care of island environments. Creating sustainable micro forests will support local and migratory wildlife and extend experiential learning opportunities for Bermuda students. In addition, this project will demonstrate the benefits of trees, provide an example of conservation of our natural resources, and foster environmental stewardship.
Mr. Brown said, "The ultimate goal of the pilot project will be to demonstrate that this approach is both sustainable and scalable. Its success will increase the initiative's scope, enabling the BZS to address tree planting and forest habitat restoration on an island-wide scale, including school grounds. The leadership and support of partners like RenaissanceRe mean that we have the funding to ensure the pilot project is successful. It's a critical project management activity that will show potential and feasibility in real-time, real-world settings before expanding to include more locations, and creating tangible opportunities for all Bermudians to help conserve our precious environment for future generations".
Jeff Manson, Head of RenaissanceRe Global Public Sector Partnership, said, "Climate change is challenging Bermuda with more frequent storms and hurricanes. Building habitats such as these forests creates highly effective natural barriers while reducing carbon in the atmosphere. We look forward to seeing this project in action and encourage everyone to get involved and show their support for this important initiative. RenaissanceRe has long been focused on protecting communities, and we are proud to partner with the Bermuda Zoological Society to help combat climate change and plan for the future of our island"."
The Madagascar Exhibit at BAMZ has 3 new residents!
The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) has welcomed three sibling red ruffed lemurs to their new home in the Madagascar exhibit! Atticus (m), Scout (f) and Finch (f) are getting acclimated to their new home, and we are excited for the public to meet them. Their journey from the Bronx Zoo to Bermuda at the end of October went off without a hitch, and now that they have completed their 30-day quarantine period, the lemurs are beginning to explore all the fun things to do in their new environment that they now share with the current resident ring-tailed lemurs.

When the decision was made to transform Madagascar into a multi-species exhibit, the BAMZ Registrar conducted careful research to determine the best species to place with resident ring-tailed lemurs. Using the recommendation list from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the red ruffs were chosen; as the red ruffs are predominantly arboreal creatures, meaning they prefer to reside in the trees, and the ring-tails have more terrestrial behaviors, the hope was that the different species would occupy the different areas of the exhibit, leading to an amicable co-habitation. 

Red ruffed lemurs are only found in the rainforests on the northeast side of Madagascar. They grow to be roughly 20 inches tall, have a tail that can grow nearly 24 inches long, and weigh between 5.7 and 9 pounds. These primates get their name from the deep red color of their soft wooly fur. In the wild they are opportunistic omnivores, so their diet covers a wide range of foods, from flowers to bugs.

Here at BAMZ they are fed a specialized diet to keep them healthy and happy, which consists of special vitamins and nutrients as well as fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, bananas, grapes, melons, greens, sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, carrots and corn.
Like the ring-tailed lemurs, red ruffed lemurs are social animals and live in small family groups. They do everything together, from foraging for food to cuddling together at night. Lemur families spend a lot of time grooming each other and are considered very clean creatures.

Unfortunately, these adorable and curious animals are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List, meaning that they are critically endangered. Their habitat is now limited to a small 840-square-mile stretch of protected forest that is home to all remaining wild red ruffed lemurs (estimated 1,000-10,000 individuals). Habitat loss is the main cause of endangerment of all lemur species. Habitat loss is caused by human industries, such as logging and mining, as well as hunting and slash-and-burn agriculture, the technique of burning down acres of rainforest for farming.

Come visit BAMZ to welcome these lemurs to their new home and learn more about what you can do to ensure the protection of lemurs and their habitat.
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