The red ruffed lemur is one of the largest species of lemur.
Red ruffed lemurs’ live on the east coast of Madagascar, in almost overlapping ranges with its sister species the black and white ruffed lemur. Despite living in separate ranges, and being separate species the two can understand each other’s calls and communications.
The two species are the only members of their genus Varecia and are both critically endangered. Lemurs are part of a group of the most basal living primates, and have evolved independently on Madagascar for 50-60 million years.
The red ruffed lemur lives in small matriarchal (female lead) groups of 2-16, but group sizes of 32 have been recorded. Because of its large size, it has a larger range size, and is therefore more acutely under threat from habitat destruction by logging, burning of habitat, cyclones and mining. And again, because of its size, it is prone to the threat of humans hunting it for food; as well as for capture into the illegal pet trade.
- Order: Primates
- Family: Lemuridae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 53cm
- Weight: 3.3-3.6kg
The primary forests of the Masoala Peninsula and the region immediately north of the bay of Antongil in northeastern Madagascar.
Habitat and Ecology
Red ruffed lemurs’ inhabit primary and secondary tropical moist lowland forest, up to 1200m above sea level. They are primarily fruit eaters, especially figs, but they do also eat pollen, nectar, leaves and shoots.