Red-ruffed lemur

Red-ruffed Lemur

Varecia rubra

About This Animal

SIZE: 1.6-1.8 feet tall; 7-9 pounds

RANGE: Northeastern Madagascar (endemic species)

HABITAT: Tropical rain forest- very wet and humid. Specifically need primary forests

DIET: fruit, nectar, leaves, flowers, buds

ON EXHIBIT: Lemur Forest

One of the largest primates in Madagascar, the Red-ruffed Lemur has thick red and black fur with a cream colored spot at the nape. The species has a narrow snout and small black ears.

It is the most frugivorous (fruit-eating) of all the lemur species. So much so that this species is a very important pollinator inside its range and is technically considered the largest pollinator on Earth! Feeding on the nectar of tubular flowers, pollen remains on their muzzle and is transported to other flowers. 

These lemurs live in groups of 15 to 30 members, containing smaller core groups with one to two dominant adult females, an adult male and juveniles or infants.

The Red-ruffed Lemur is critically endangered. Largely due to habitat loss and fragmentation. This is due to illegal logging for precious hard woods and slash-and-burn agriculture known as “tavy”. They are also very prevalent in the bush meat trade and are under heavy poaching threats.