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Species Information

Range/Habitat: Ring-tailed lemurs, like all lemur species, are found only in Madagascar. Madagascar is an incredibly unique island off the east coast of Africa that is overflowing with biodiversity and animals found no where else on the planet! Ring-tailed lemurs are found on the southwestern side of the island and prefer tropical dry forests. These areas still experience a drastically different wet and dry season but never receive as much rainfall as tropical rain forests. Therefore, lemurs living in dry forests have to be able to adapt to the very limited water that is available to them in the harsh dry seasons. 

Behavior: Ring-tailed lemurs are the most terrestrial of all lemur species. In some areas, they live above the seasonal forest line and move around on top of steep, rigged cliffs. They live in a variety of different habitat types and eat fruit, leaves, flowers, bark and sap from around 3 dozen different plant species. They sometimes act as pests and raid agriculture fields. Depending on the habitat they are living in,  Ring-tails take shelter at night in caves or in trees. They live in multi-male, multi-female groups of 6-24 individuals. Females are dominant over males and remain in their natal groups while males emigrate (leave) once they are sexually mature (around 3 years old). 

Breeding: Mating season begins in mid April and young are born in September. They are precocious (fairly well developed) and cling to their mothers back once they are 1-2 weeks old. Many infants don’t survive to adulthood, but those who do can live up to 20 years.

Conservation: Listing: Endangered. All lemur species are threatened with nearly a third critically endangered. Madagascar is a prime example of an island that is outgrowing itself. Habitat loss for agricultural purposes as well as logging for charcoal and fuel is a severe threat to many lemur species. 

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