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Red Ruffed Lemur

Fact File

Class: Mammal
Order: Primate
Family: True Lemurs
Found: Madagascar
Size: 60 cm
Weight: 3.4-3.5 kg


Diet: Herbivore (Plant Eater)
Gestation: 90-103 days


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Conservation Status: VU

Red Ruffed Lemur

Varecia variehata rubra

Habitat: Primary rainforest. Ruffed Lemurs are only found in undisturbed primary forest.

Threats: They are one of the first species to disappear after selective logging, probably because they eat large fruits from large trees, which are the first to be cut down. Due to its large size and need for tall primary forest, this species is susceptible to human encroachment and habitat loss.  Hunting also remains a threat.

Social Behaviour: They live in variable multi-male / multi-female communities and they are very territorial.Active during the day it prefers high forest and is often observed in the crowns of large feeding trees. They are very arboreal and daytime active, they often like to hang upside down by their feet to feed.The extreme loud barking is to ward off other lemurs.

Information: This species has a restricted range, primarily inhabiting primary forests of the Masoala Peninsula and the region north of the Bay of Antongil in north-eastern Madagascar. The Antainambalana River separates this species from V. variegata. Historically, the two species overlapped in the region. This species is named after the thick red coat which it possesses especially the thick tufts on its ears.

Food: The diet consists of fruit, seeds, leaves and nectar. They can pass seeds in 2-3 hours.

Breeding: They reach maturity at twenty months and have a gestation period of 90 to 120 days. They give birth every 12 months in spring to twins.
Ruffed lemurs are the largest lemur to have three pairs of nipples and multiple infants. Young are parked in nests for the first week and rather than clinging, are carried in the mothers mouth.

 Projects: ANTONGIL

Map: Red = Locations Found 823

Red ruffed lemur map


How we are Protecting Wild Animals
There are over 100 species of lemur – almost all of these are in decline and are under threat of extinction.

 Since 2005, our Antongil Conservation project has worked in a bay in the north east of Madagascar. People there are poor and had to live off the land. For years they hunted lemurs for meat, and cut down forest to sell wood and use the land for farming.

Our teams monitor wildlife, plant trees and patrol the area for illegal logging and poachers. We also have a new reintroduction project for lemurs.

The project helps communities to make better use of the land, boosting crop production. We also provide farm animals as an alternative source of food.

Ecotourism has been introduced, as well as education and employment for local people. Our annual “lemur festival” attracts thousands of citizens, who celebrate the lemurs and the successes of the project!

Safari Zoo Animals Protected by This Project

Other Wild Animals Protected by This Project