Blog by MBP Volunteer, Colleen
Photos courtesy of Katherine
It is Varecia baby season here at KAFS. I was lucky enough to witness mating season back in July and now am delighted to see the results. In October we began to see the females nesting and tiny Varecia slowly emerged.
There are four collared females in Sangasanga with 1 baby each. In addition, we have seen 1 non-collared female with 1 baby and another with twins! In Vatovavy we have witnessed the collared males participating in childcare with non-collared females and we have seen 4 babies regularly.
It has been interesting to see the males doing their part to help out the females. They will guard the nests and babies so the females can briefly go eat some fruit. The Varecia babies never stop moving around and I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for the mothers who undoubtedly welcome this small break.
The babies only spent a few weeks in the nest and appear to be thriving. Although they are still high in the trees, it did not take long for them to begin hanging upside down and jumping from branch to branch. If the females need to get anywhere in a hurry they will grab the babies in their mouths and leap from tree to tree as if it is nothing. It has been such a delight watching the babies and I feel honored to witness critically endangered primates growing up.
I have included some of my favorite photos from Sangasanga.