The Little Fireface Project (LFP), headed by Professor Anna Nekaris
, studies the ecology of the slow and slender lorises, and contributes wherever possible to the conservation and ecology of loris species throughout their range. The project’s scope of research is widespread encompassing behavioural ecology, museum studies, genetics, acoustics, taxonomy, conservation education and chemical ecology.
The LFP team also conducts evaluated outreach and education programmes for local communities to get them to join the conservation movement. Their mission is to obtain vital data about all loris species to contribute to their conservation in the wild and in captivity, including aiding rescue centres in reintroductions and aiding in the welfare of slow loris pets in countries where it is still legal to keep them. They intensively use, monitor and evaluate social media to inform the public world-wide about the plight of slow lorises to mitigate their trade.
LFP began under the remit of the Nocturnal Primate Research Group at Oxford Brookes University, UK in 1994, and became an independent project in 2011. Their work covers all lorises, including the African pottos and angwantibos, and Asia’s slender and slow lorises. They have since named seven new species, and have studied six species of loris for a year or more in the wild, contributing novel data on diet, habitat use, social organisation and population status.
Their current main field project is on the Indonesian island of Java, where they have initiated the first-ever long-term study of a lorisiform primate in the wild – the Javan slow loris. At the same time, during country-wide surveys in forests and wildlife markets they also make observations of other obscure nocturnal animals, including colugos, pangolins, civets, small cats, mustelids and owls.