Lemur Conservation Foundation Inc
PO Box 249
Myakka City FL 34251
Lemur Conservation Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the primates of Madagascar through captive-breeding, scientific research, and education.
CEO/Executive Director Ms Lee Anne Nesler
Board Chair Scott Rivirre
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History and Background
Former Names
Lower Primate Conservation Foundation
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Supported Organization none
Awarded a competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
Incorporation Year 1996
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $658,798.00
Projected Expenses $679,219.00
Additional Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
State Info
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes June 2014
State Registration Yes Dec 2014


1. LCF’s Field Methods Training School is for university level students who need essential professional experience in field research, and provides a safe and affordable program USA based program.

2. Our Ako Project & Teachers' Institute makes conservation education materials for available for teachers and museum educators. The lesson plans meet standards in math, social sciences, language, and art, and the importance of conservation.We are designing a traveling exhibit for zoo and museum educators.

3. LCF’s Managed Breeding program is directed by Dr. Alison Grand, Animal Care Manager. Our goal in 2014 is to expand our managed breeding success.

 4. Three Internships in Primate Husbandry and Field Research are offered at LCF to help young professionals establish themselves in the highly competitive field of conservation biology, and allow them to contribute to science.

5. Ako Project - Madagascar is LCF’s conservation education initiative in Madagascar.  This program provides conservation education training to teachers in Madagascar's rural communities. 


1. LCF began providing Ako Project based ‘Teachers’ Packets’ to any teacher or home school parent interested in using these tools in their classes, and ‘Learning Packets’ to children with learning disadvantages.

 2. LCF began supporting Parc Ivoloina, a zoological park with nature trails and education program in Madagascar.

 3. At the request of the late Dr. Alison Jolly LCF began supporting the Malagasy Students' Fund and the lemur census at Berenty, Madagascar. The Malagasy Students fund brings fourth and fifth year candidates for master’s degrees in Life Science Education at Madagascar's prestigious teachers college to Berenty for field training and a chance to participate in the longest lemur census project in Madagascar. The students write about their experience in their thesis with recommendations about how to incorporate field biology into secondary school life science classrooms.


Inspired by the vision of Dr. Ian Tattersall, internationally renowned biological anthropologist, Penelope Bodry-Sanders founded the Lemur Conservation Foundation(LCF) in 1996. Incorporated in Florida, it is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit publicly supported organization dedicated to the preservation and conservation of lemurs through captive breeding, non-invasive scientific research, and education.

Certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), LCF’s 110-acre, non-public Myakka City Lemur Reserve (MCLR), is a campus in the wilds of “old Florida” that includes six buildings, three domed lemur shelters, and a quarantine shelter. The lemurs live naturally in two pristine forests (8-acres and 13-acres) protected by 13’ high fences, yet are readily available for educational and non-invasive research purposes. 

Researchers from around the world come to the MCLR to further the understanding of these fascinating primates. In partnership with several universities, the LCF conducts the unique Field Training Program which teaches students field techniques. LCF also fosters internships in animal husbandry and scientific research.


Education programs include the Teachers Institute for Conservation Ecology, a one-week program that provides high school teachers the necessary scientific background, inspiration and specialized tools and techniques to generate learning opportunities. The program is consistent with the National Science Education Standards and state standards.

LCF also operates the Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies, the intellectual heart of the reserve and meeting place for staff, visiting researchers, scientists, and teachers. Housed in the Center is the Anne and Walter Bladstrom Library, made up of virtual, digital and physical collections about all things “lemur” - essentially a one-stop globally accessible information resource about lemurs and Madagascar.


In recognition of the power of art to fuel conservation efforts, LCF has always found ways to use art to advance its mission. LCF’s Penelope Fund for Art and Science, an endowment fund established by the Foundation’s Board of Directors to honor Penelope Bodry-Sanders’ retirement, promotes art as a vehicle for conservation both here and in Madagascar.


The Foundation is a member of the steering committee of Madagascar Fauna Group (MFG).
  • Medical supplies and equipment to manage our growing colony. $10,000
  • Exhibit space, housing, and forest habitat domes for our lemurs. $25,000
  • Funds to help protect additional forests in Madagascar, lemurs only endemic home. $2,500.
  • Expanding our Ako Project Conservation Education efforts in villages near Madagascar's endangered forests. $5,000
  • Scholarships for the Teachers Institute, giving Florida teachers the opportunity to participate in our S.T.E.A.M. programs for educators at our conservation habitats. $4,000 provides scholarships for 20 teachers to participate.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director Educating teachers and students and supporting scientific research is the best way that we can make our daily conservation practices relevant to the future of our planet. Using our charismatic lemurs as representatives of the fragile state of the earth’s biodiversity, we will inspire visitors and empower young scientists to parlay this first-hand primate knowledge and experience into action we cannot imagine today.

LCF’s impact is felt in various communities: In ex situ conservation, its endangered lemur population has more than doubled and in in situ conservation, LCF’s education programs and research pursuits have increased. Teaching and scholarly activities, for example, are flourishing, and the offerings of the Bladstrom Library encompass a diverse and growing collection at the reserve and are augmented by more and more information on LCF’s electronic highway.


In Madagascar the LCF reserve is located in the Protected Area of Tampolo which is located in one of the remnant littoral forests in Eastern Madagascar. In spite of its small size of about 1482 acres and the fact that it is surrounded by degraded land and deforested landscape, the forest of Tampolo harbors a spectacular array of endemic plants and animals, most of which are endangered, including seven species of lemurs.


Human activities such as over-harvesting of trees for timber and fuel combined with slash and burn agriculture for the cultivation of rice and maize have directly threatened Tampolo's biodiversity.


Over the last eight years working in Madagascar, LCF has underwritten the construction of the Tampolo Museum and Interpretative Center,  underwrote both the construction of a guesthouse (Reed and Barbara Toomey Tranosoa Tampolo) for visiting scientific researchers, and the construction of Centre EnviroKidz Tampolo, a classroom/community center thanks to funds from Envirokidz Giving Back Program.
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Since its inception, LCF has recognized that it had to approach conservation by every possible means. In addition to scientific research, education and captive breeding, the Foundation has always used art to advance its mission. LCF holds that art is one of the greatest vehicles for conservation because it touches us emotionally where intellectual facts sit in our brains for a time and then dissipate into the atmosphere. It further contends that without feeling strongly about losing the world around us, we humans will never really act on its behalf.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Animal Related
Secondary Org Type Science & Technology
Tertiary Org Type Environment
CONSERVATION & MANAGED BREEDING - Madagascar is one of the most important biodiversity spots on earth, with more than 80% of its flora and fauna found no where else. Lemurs,  the most endangered primate species in the world, with 90% of the 103 species threatened with extinction within the next few decades.  Habitat loss and poor agricultural practices threaten both lemurs and human communities in Madagascar. LCF works to solve both sets of issues.
Our goal is to preserve and contribute to the genetic pool of lemur species at our facility, and to practice the best conservation possible in our ex-situ and in-situ efforts. Our free-ranging lemurs in Myakka City have the chance to engage in wild behaviors, making it possible to transfer them to a reserve in Madagascar, should the opportunity present itself. We are working closely with conservation efforts in Madagascar through our Scientific Advisory Committee and partners, one of whom co-founded the Beza Mahafaly Reserve. 
Budget $90,000
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Wildlife Preservation & Protection
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served US& International US& International US& International
Short Term Success
Annual viable births for the mothers who were recommended to breed.
Healthy population at the MCR which will be determined by our Veterinarian and the AZA Prosimian Veterinary advisor.
Long Term Success
Continual growth of the lemur population as directed by the Association of Zoological and Aquariums Species Survival Program committees for the species we are working with.
Program Success Monitored By
Our Scientific Advisory Board, LCF Veterinary staff and the AZA Prosimian Tag Veterinary Advisor.
Examples of Program Success
LCF has live births every year, 3 in 2012. Our success with captive breeding of specific lemur species is recognized by the AZA and other certified institutions. Our reserve in Myakka City has had several 'forest births' among our population of free-ranging female lemurs. This is significant in view of the ultimate goal, re-introducing lemurs to the forest of Madagascar, their only wild home.


1. Our facility in Myakka City has been a field-training site for students at the university level for short-term classes on logistics and techniques of fieldwork for 13 years.  In 2014 we are adding more field education opportunities.

2. We conduct age and audience specific classes and presentations in our community  to discuss how the environmental crisis Madagascar is experiencing effects their ability to sustain viable populations, and lead discussions about environmental impact.

3. LCF uses social media and technology to promote engagement and learning about lemurs, conservation biology, and science. Our tools include facilities at our Myakka City conservation habitats, other resources in lemur science and education, art programs, and the Bladstrom Library at LCF.                

Budget $25,000
Category Education, General/Other Educational Research
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served Other Named Groups
Short Term Success
Continued interest from Universities to hold field training classes.
Long Term Success
In addition to supporting student education, the program further supports research conducted by LCF staff and visiting researchers in their continuing efforts to preserve these endangered animals. Students who went through out field training program continue to do work in Madagascar and become future conservationists and researchers helping to protect and learn about lemurs.
Program Success Monitored By
After each presentation or field training program evaluation forms are monitored to ensure adjustments to the programs are made to increase the students and professors experience.
Examples of Program Success
In 2012 there was interest from 5 professors to utilize LCF as a location for field training classes. To date 3 have committed and 1 class was already completed. As of spring 2013, 2 universities offer undergraduate credit for LCF Field Training School.
The Ako Project is LCF's K-5 conservation education program based on The Ako Series. Ako is a set of 6 children’s storybooks about the lemurs of Madagascar. In addition, we are designing a traveling exhibit for and resources for museum and zoo educators. 
The initial education focus was within Madagascar, where the link between female literacy and increased conservation results has been proven. Education outreach efforts are now in England, North America, and China.

In addition to sets of books for children, the program links conservation and education professionals with teachers in the USA, Europe, and Madagascar.  Teacher’s resources include posters focusing on lemur habitats, and lesson plans that supplement math, science, language arts, geography, and arts education.  Teachers have the opportunity to attend 'Ako Workshops' to receive continuing education credits and become 'Ako Certified' conservation educators.

The traveling exhibit will engage both the public and educators.
Budget $43,000
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served US& International Families Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success The short term success is measured through impact in classrooms, response and feedback from teachers about how the materials work and what they need to continue teaching conservation biology in a productive way.
Long Term Success In Madagascar and in our communities the Ako Project will enhance and sustain early education about conservation biology and environmental impact. The resources provide teachers with tools necessary to lead this discussion as part of their classroom curriculum.
Program Success Monitored By Ako Project team leaders and partners, inlcuding Dr. Allison Jolly, Dr. Hantanirina Rasamimanana, Dr. Francine Dolins, Dr. Helen Clarke, and Dr Hanta Rakotomavo.  In addition to these education and conservation scholars, partners include Natures Path, LCF, and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Examples of Program Success The Ako Project has produced and distributed materials in Madagascar since 2006, and seeks ongoing partnership with other conservation organizations in Madagascar. It expanded to include publication of materials for US based teachers in 2013. The materials are being translated into Chinese, with distribution in China as a goal  for the near future.

Uniquely, our facility in Myakka City provides free-ranging forest habitat for several species of lemurs. One challenge faced by reserves and zoos is creating habitat that provides animals with an optima environment for their health and comfort. The 'Comfort Branch' is a thermo-regulation prototype designed for the forest at LCF. It helps maintain correct temperature through innovative use of higher performance solar cells thermo-electric cooling elements in a naturalistic 'branch' installed in the forests. The project is developed for LCF by Clay Nesler, with funding from Shell Corporation and patent contributions by Johnson Controls. Mr. Nesler is a part-time Florida Gulf Coast resident, VP for Global Energy and Sustainability at Johnson Controls, and Alumni Board Member at the University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign School of Engineering.

Budget $6,000
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Animal Exhibitions & Shows
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served US& International
Short Term Success Short term success will measured by installation in the Toomey Forest at the Myakka City Reserve.
Long Term Success Long term success will be measured in two ways: installation of additional branches in our forests and exhibits, and through sales of the Comfort Branch kits to other organizations.
Program Success Monitored By Program success will be monitored by the LCF Animal Care team, LCF Director fo Research and Operations, and LCF's Executive Director. The project will also be monitored by engineer Clay Nesler and the class of engineering students who developed the successful prototype Comfort Branch.
Examples of Program Success Our forests are currently equipped with humidity control systems to aid in thermo-regulation for our lemurs. We know from animal husbandry experience in our forests as well as from experience at other zoos that thermo-regulation and environment controls are an issue for animal comfort and well-being. Our expectation is that other organizations will benefit from this technology. We are confident that our lemurs will benefit based on empirical data and observations in our own forest colonies.
The Teachers’ Institute is a summer professional development program taught at our Myakka City habitats and other locations in the community.  The Institute exposes teachers to hands on field science, and specialized tools and techniques in a working science environment. We work with them to create stimulating conservation education resources for their classrooms, and to share with their colleagues.

Teachers in groups of 10 or 12. Leading national scientists share their expertise and provide hands-on activities designed to excite and motivate young science students. Using LCF's lemur colony and the native habitat as a resource, participants engage in day-to-day science through a field-training program where they learn  field techniques and share the enthusiasm of conservation professionals. The program provides continuing education credits for educators, and an opportunity to become 'Ako Certified' conservation educators.

Budget $10,000
Category Education, General/Other Teacher & Faculty
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) US& International
Short Term Success Short term success of the program is measured by feedback from the teachers and scientists who participate in the program. Our goal is to help teachers incorporate techniques of field biology in their classroom. Through exposure to field biology and science we can inspire students to careers in science, and also motivate them to make good conservation and sustainability decisions in their communities.
Long Term Success Long term success of the program is measured by increased number of participants and our ability to welcome more groups to the reserve each year. Conservation Education is a core principle of our mission in our community, the USA and Madagascar.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored by the LCF Director of Research and Operations and participating scientists. We also solicit responses from participating teachers to be sure their experience at LCF is relevant to their classroom goals.
Examples of Program Success

The first Sarasota Teachers’ Institute for Conservation Biology workshop took place in June 2007 at LCF’s Myakka facilities. The workshop was very successful and received glowing reviews from all the participants. In the words of an attending middle school science teacher: “I was blown away by the wealth of information that I really did not have before this class.”

The teachers attended eight lectures given by prominent experts, did field research and observed and recorded animal behavior. Using their new skills, they developed new lesson plans to be used in their own classes. We are very confident that the Teachers’ Institute will become one of the pillars of LCF’s educational mission.

Program Comments by Organization

LCF strives to reach more students with its programs. To serve increased demand, we will add additional housing to accommodate students and researchers. Our goal to build a ‘Living Building Challenge’ education center and dormitory in honor of our late board member, Charlotte ‘Mopsy’ Lovejoy, will meet this need. LCF and our Charlotte Lovejoy Conservation Education Center provide immersive programing in old, wild Florida ecosystems at our Myakka City facility. It is a life changing experience for the students that help them launch their adult and professional lives.


CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Ms Lee Anne Nesler
CEO Term Start Oct 2011
Email leenesler@lemurreserve.org

Animal Shelter Experience

Executive Director, Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, Pittsburgh, PA February
2004 – 2012
  • Obtain and maintain 4 star Charity Navigator rating
  • Manage 4.2 million dollar budget and 72 total employees, 51fulltime
  • Oversee organization’s development plan and fund raising

Zoological Experience

General Curator, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Pittsburgh, PA  1989 – 2003

  •  Implemented enrichment and operant conditioning training program zoo wide
  • Member of design and building team for 5multimillion dollar building projects
  •  Intuitional representative for the zoo with AZA including accreditation inspection team

Mammal Curator, Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, SC    1984 - 1989

  • Assistant Mammal Curator, Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, SC,        
  • Lead Keeper, Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, SC
  • Keeper, Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, SC

Intern, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL 1982-1984


  •  AZA Ape Advisory Group, Co chair    1999- 2003
  • AZA Gibbon Species Survival Plan coordinator    1999 - 2003
  • Bush meat crisis taskforce member    1999 -03
  • New world primate tag member            1989- 03
  • Institutional representative for all mammal SSP animals at the
    Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium    1989 - 2003
  • Assisted with Riverbanks Zoo field research project on 3 varieties of Manakin birds in Costa Rica    
  • Observation, banding, data collection and release  1986
  • Assisted with Pittsburgh Zoo field research project on dwarf Siberian hamsters in Russia               1994                            
  • Collecting, tagging, surgical transmitter implantation and removal, data collection and release 
Full Time Staff 3
Part Time Staff 4
Volunteers 75
Contractors 3
Staff Retention Rate % 75
Professional Development Yes
Management Reports to Board Yes
Organization Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted Apr 2013
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Policies and Procedures Under Development
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Senior Staff
Ms Alison Grand Ph.D.Anmal Care Manager
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Duke Primate Center, Part time Lemur Veterinary Services
University Field Training Programs
  • Portland State University
  • University of Florida Miami
  • Ekerd College
  • New College
  • University of Michigan Dearborn

Madagascar Fauna Group, Managing Member

Parc Ivoloina, Madagascar
FAZA, Florida chapter of American Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Dr. Hanta Rasamimanana, University of Antananarivo & the Berenty Reserve, Madagascar
Dr. Erik Patel,  Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve
External Assessments and Accreditations
Association of Zoos and Aquariums- Accreditation
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Leadership Comments by Organization

LCF is utilizing this opportunity to standardize and craft job descriptions for our organization. We are planning for present positions, and for positions, we need as our organization grows. We have had several facilitation session to help define roles, and to help us plan for future positions. Our goal is developing an understanding of our future needs, and then recruiting accordingly to our growth plan.

Board Chair
Board Chair Scott Rivirre
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Apr 2013 to Apr 2016
Email rivsco@gmail.com
Board Members
Board Members
John Alexander Community Volunteer
Dr. George Amato AMNH, Sackler Institute for Comparitive Genomics
Penelope Bodry-Sanders Community Volunteer
Mark Braunstein Tower Products
Blair Brown Actress
Gail Erickson Community Volunteer
Patricia Connolly Pantello volunteer
Judy Rasmuson Community Volunteer
Scott Riviere Community Volunteer
Charlene Heiser Wolff Tria Consulting LLC
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation No
Board Meeting Attendance % 60
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 1
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 40
Constituency Includes Client Representation
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Audit, Compliance and Controls
Board Development / Board Orientation
Capital Campaign
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization

LCF applied for an ’I Incredible’ grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to strengthen our board governance and succession planning. We received the grant and will begin the board governance work in July 2014.  Board growth is a great opportunity- utilizing more professionals to further the LCF mission and continue to craft our message in the US and Madagascar.

Financial Info
Fiscal Year 2014
Projected Revenue $658,798.00
Projected Expenses $679,219.00
Endowment Value $3,366,927.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Historical Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$398,364$393,597$344,133
Administration Expense$212,085$168,185$198,357
Fundraising Expense$62,351$56,670$62,518
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.531.801.36
Program Expense/Total Expenses59%64%57%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue10%7%12%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$5,641,437$4,876,053$4,462,884
Current Assets$3,871,583$3,078,489$2,642,751
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$20,255$15,404$15,853
Total Net Assets$5,621,182$4,860,649$4,447,031
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $627,806Contributions, gifts, grants $856,011Contributions, gifts, grants $515,852
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $376,880Investment income $247,869Investment income $297,635
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $17,137Consulting $5,355Research Fees & Field Work $15,438
CEO Compensation
Co-CEO Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities191.14199.85166.70
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose The campaign is to build the Charlotte Lovejoy Conservation Education Center, a Living Building Challenge, self sustaining, green facility with multi-use space, and education and meeting room with a 20 bed dormitory.
Goal $1,500,000.00
Dates 2015 to 2017
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

LCF is committed to a permanent and enduring presence in the communities we serve. An investment account and endowment is a priority for our organization, providing solvency during fluctuations in market and gifting patterns. Another financial priority is building a deep donor and annual fund. We are engaged in an acquisition plan and ways to engage donors from our area and beyond, to provide the financial support to sustain our mission.

Financial Comments by Foundation Financial figures taken from IRS Form 990s. Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as reported in 990.  Audits available for 2010 and 2011. Total assets reported in 2010 audit: $4,339,833. Net assets reported in 2010 audit: $4,282,778.  Total assets reported in 2011 audit: $4,382,336.  Net assets reported in 2011 audit: $4,367,974.
Nonprofit Lemur Conservation Foundation Inc
Address PO Box 249
Myakka City, FL 34251
Primary Phone 941 322-8494
CEO/Executive Director Ms Lee Anne Nesler
Board Chair Scott Rivirre
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 1996
Former Names
Lower Primate Conservation Foundation

Related Information


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