Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

Ring-tailed lemurs are medium-sized primates that are found only on the island of Madagascar. They are the most internationally-recognized lemur species, thanks to their long, black-and-white, ringed tail. Ring-tailed lemurs are also known for their scent-marking behavior, in which males will rub their tails on scent glands and then wave them at rivals.

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Size

  • Height:¬†Average height is 16.7 inches
  • Length: Average total length is 30 inches
  • Tail Length: Average tail length is 22-25 inches
  • Weight:¬†5-7.5 pounds

Lifespan

  • About 16 to 19 years in the wild
  • About 27 years in captivity

Reproduction

  • Mating Season: June to September
  • Gestation: Around 136 days, and give birth to a single baby, called an infant.
  • Infant Rearing: The infant is born with its eyes open and its fur is fully developed. It is able to climb and cling to its mother within hours of being born. The infant is suckled for about 6 months, and it is weaned at about 10 months old.

Range

Ring-tailed lemurs are found only on the island of Madagascar.

Diet

Omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Their diet includes fruits, leaves, flowers, insects, and small vertebrates.

Behavior/Habitat

Ring-tailed lemurs are diurnal and arboreal, meaning they are active during the day and live in trees. They are social animals and live in groups of up to 30 individuals. The groups are led by a dominant female. They have a complex system of vocalizations that they use to communicate with each other and are one of the most vocal primates.

Interesting Facts

  • Their tails are longer than their bodies.
  • They have a complex system of vocalizations that they use to communicate with each other.
  • They are one of the most vocal primates.
  • They are very social animals and form strong bonds with their group members.
  • They are an important part of the Malagasy ecosystem.

Population/Status

The estimated population of ring-tailed lemurs in the wild is between 2,000 and 2,500 individuals.
The population is concentrated in the dry forests of southwestern Madagascar.
The population is declining at an alarming rate, and is at risk of extinction in the wild.

The ring-tailed lemur is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. This means that the species is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

The population of ring-tailed lemurs has declined by over 95% in the past 20 years. This decline is due to a number of factors, including:

  • Habitat loss: The natural habitat of ring-tailed lemurs is being destroyed by deforestation and agricultural expansion.
  • Hunting: Ring-tailed lemurs are hunted for their meat and fur.
  • The pet trade: Ring-tailed lemurs are also captured and sold as pets.

Threats

Ring-tailed lemurs are endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. They are also threatened by the illegal pet trade.

Primary Sources:
IUCN Red List