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Red Ruffed Lemur
Varecia rubra

Habitat: deciduous tropical forests

Range: Masaola Peninsula of Madagascar's Northeast coast

Natural Diet: fruit, flowers, nectar, leaves, and buds

Status in the Wild: Critically Endangered


Animal Facts

Lemurs have a complex system of vocalization ranging from low grunts and gurgling to loud cackle-like calls. Ruffed lemurs live in groups of two to ten individuals, usually a mated pair and offspring. Their six bottom teeth form a "toothcomb" they use to groom themselves and other members of the social group. Specialized claws on the second toe of the hind feet are also used as a grooming tool. Scent glands, located at the rump, are used to mark territories and for group identification.

Conservation: Many lemur species have become extinct. All lemurs are endangered, suffering from habitat loss as forests are converted to farmland or selectively logged. Heavily hunted and trapped by the Malagasy people as a food source, lemurs share their precarious status with many plants and animal species unique to Madagascar.

To learn more about field efforts to conserve red ruffed lemurs, click here


These lemurs have a black tail and their bodies are reddish-brown (Photo courtesy: Scott Findley Photography)

Distributional range

All species of lemurs are endemic to Madagascar, the island in black to the right of Africa.