Black and White Ruffed Lemur

Lemur, Black-and-White Ruffed

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  • Information
  • Conservation
  • Lifestyle

Description

The black-and-white ruffed lemur is one of the largest members of the lemur family and is the second loudest primate after the howler monkey of central and South America. They have long, soft coats that are mostly black with white on the head, back, limbs and a long white ruff around the neck. Black-and-white ruffed lemurs exhibit reverse sexual dimorphism, when the females are larger than males.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Primates
Family
Lemuridae
Genus
Varecia
Species
V. variegata
Conservation Status
Critically Endangered

Key Facts

Length
40-47 in (~100-120 cm)
Weight
7-10 lb (~3-4.5 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes Varecia variegata as a Critically Endangered species that is believed to have undergone a population decline of 80% over the last 30 years. They are threatened by habitat destruction of the eastern rainforest on Madagascar as well as hunting for meat, fur and exportation. Education plays an important role in the conservation of ruffed lemurs. The two zoos of Madagascar with ruffed lemur exhibits are developing educational programs to help the Malagasy people become more environmentally aware.

Social Life
Black-and-white ruffed lemurs are most active in the morning and late afternoon. They are social animals that live in small groups of 2-5 individuals, usually a mated pair and their offspring. Unlike other lemurs, the females build nests in trees rather than carry their babies on their backs or stomachs. Ruffed lemurs spend most of the time feeding, traveling, and resting high up in the forest canopy. If a predator is seen a loud alarm call alerts the other members of the group and the group will work together to protect each other.

Habitat and Range
Ruffed lemurs are found in the eastern lowland and mid-altitude rainforests of Madagascar. They are tree dwellers and are the most arboreal of the true lemurs.

Diet
The black-and-white ruffed lemur is the most frugivorous of all the lemurs, eating fruits, nectar, seeds and leaves. They will also feed on insects, reptiles, bird eggs and soil.

Lifespan
Ruffed lemurs typically live for 15-20 years but have been documented up to 35 years.

Predators
Likely predators of ruffed lemurs include raptors and fossas but official reports are unavailable.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: Around 20 months, Female: Around 20 months
Mating Season:   May to June
Birth Season:       August to October
Gestation:             102 days
No. of Young:       up to 6 but usually 3

Information

Description

The black-and-white ruffed lemur is one of the largest members of the lemur family and is the second loudest primate after the howler monkey of central and South America. They have long, soft coats that are mostly black with white on the head, back, limbs and a long white ruff around the neck. Black-and-white ruffed lemurs exhibit reverse sexual dimorphism, when the females are larger than males.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Primates
Family
Lemuridae
Genus
Varecia
Species
V. variegata
Conservation Status
Critically Endangered

Key Facts

Length
40-47 in (~100-120 cm)
Weight
7-10 lb (~3-4.5 kg)
Conservation

The IUCN Red List describes Varecia variegata as a Critically Endangered species that is believed to have undergone a population decline of 80% over the last 30 years. They are threatened by habitat destruction of the eastern rainforest on Madagascar as well as hunting for meat, fur and exportation. Education plays an important role in the conservation of ruffed lemurs. The two zoos of Madagascar with ruffed lemur exhibits are developing educational programs to help the Malagasy people become more environmentally aware.

Lifestyle

Social Life
Black-and-white ruffed lemurs are most active in the morning and late afternoon. They are social animals that live in small groups of 2-5 individuals, usually a mated pair and their offspring. Unlike other lemurs, the females build nests in trees rather than carry their babies on their backs or stomachs. Ruffed lemurs spend most of the time feeding, traveling, and resting high up in the forest canopy. If a predator is seen a loud alarm call alerts the other members of the group and the group will work together to protect each other.

Habitat and Range
Ruffed lemurs are found in the eastern lowland and mid-altitude rainforests of Madagascar. They are tree dwellers and are the most arboreal of the true lemurs.

Diet
The black-and-white ruffed lemur is the most frugivorous of all the lemurs, eating fruits, nectar, seeds and leaves. They will also feed on insects, reptiles, bird eggs and soil.

Lifespan
Ruffed lemurs typically live for 15-20 years but have been documented up to 35 years.

Predators
Likely predators of ruffed lemurs include raptors and fossas but official reports are unavailable.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: Around 20 months, Female: Around 20 months
Mating Season:   May to June
Birth Season:       August to October
Gestation:             102 days
No. of Young:       up to 6 but usually 3

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Lemur, Black-and-White Ruffed