The ring-tailed lemur is native to tropical dry and scrub forests in central and southwestern Madagascar.
Ring-tailed lemurs are omnivores. They consume plants, leaves, flowers, nectar, fruit, sap and bark, often supplementing their usual diet with insects and small birds.
This species of lemur is highly social and can be found in groups of up to 25 individuals. They spend much of their time grooming each other and playing together.
The gestation period is around four months and two to three offspring are born. Females of this species are very attentive mothers, sheltering, grooming, feeding, and eagerly carrying their offspring.
With a population of between 10,000 and 100,000 left on the island, they are considered a vulnerable species, as the forest in which they live is being destroyed by slash and burn agriculture, charcoal production and mining for gemstones and minerals.
Ring-tailed lemurs are found in all five of the protected areas within their range. Zoos worldwide contribute to a captive breeding programme for the species, including Newquay Zoo.
- Latin Name: Lemur catta
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Primates
- Family: Lemuridae
- Conservation Status: Endangered
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