RING-TAILED LEMUR
Lemur catta


 
Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 1-800-385-9712

defenders@mail.defenders.org

STATUS:

Endangered.

DESCRIPTION:

Ring-tailed lemurs have coats of soft, thick, woolly fur. The fur on their body is brownish gray and their tails are ringed with white and black fur. Ring-tailed lemurs have leather-like pads on the bottoms of their feet that help them keep their grip on slippery surfaces. Their hind legs are longer than their forelegs.

SIZE:

The heads and bodies of ring-tailed lemurs are 15 to 18 inches long. Their tails are an additional 22 to 24 inches long. Ring-tailed lemurs weigh between five and eight pounds.

 
POPULATION:

10,000 to 15,000 Galapagos tortoises occur in the wild.

 
LIFESPAN:

In captivity, ring-tailed lemurs can reach 30 years old.

RANGE:

Ring-tailed lemurs occur in southern Madagascar, an island off the coast of southeastern Africa.

HABITAT:

Ring-tailed lemurs inhabit highland country and thinly wooded forests.

FOOD:

Ring-tailed lemurs eat fruits, leaves, and occasionally insects.

BEHAVIOR:

Although they are sometimes active at night, ring-tailed lemurs are primarily diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. Lemurs live together in groups of approximately five to 22. There is no fixed leader in these groups, but the females dominate over the males. Each group has a fixed territory, and the territories of different groups do not overlap.
THREATS:

The habitat of ring-tailed lemurs is disappearing because of fires, overgrazing of domestic livestock and logging. Ring-tailed lemurs are also threatened by hunting.

PROTECTION:

Endangered Species Act, CITES* Appendix I.

*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if trade does not harm their survival.