Black and White Ruffed Lemur

ZOO LOCATION: Monkey Pavilion

Lifespan: Up to 19 years

Wild Diet: Fruit, seeds, insects and bird eggs

Zoo Diet: Monkey chow," fruits and vegetables, small amounts of cooked meat.

Predators: Main predator is man due to habitat loss.

SSP: yes

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

Habitat/Range: Tropical rain forests in northeast coastal areas of Madagascar

Characteristics: Ruffed lemurs have thick black and white fur and long tails. Their black faces have white side whiskers and a protruding nose. They have lemon-yellow colored eyes. Flat nails except for a claw on their second toe. They weigh about 6-7 lbs., are 17-22 in. long, females larger than males. Ruffed lemurs are the largest of the true lemurs.

Behavior: Ruffed lemurs thick coat repels rainfall. They have a loud, sometimes eerie, call that helps define a troop's territory. Their legs are longer than their arms and they walk on all-fours. Locomotion is more labored and cautious than other lemurs. Groups consist of 2-5 lemurs, usually an adult mated pair and their young.

Reproduction: Ruffed lemur differs from other lemurs in the length of their gestation period, the number of young that are born, the nesting of the young. One to three young are born after a gestation period of about 90-103 days. The young are very immature and are kept in a nest of leaves and twigs. Sometimes the females will line the nest with fur plucked from their flanks. Young are initially carried in the mothers mouth but not until they are about three weeks old. Initially, the young are carried in the mouth by the female. The female has three pair of mammary glands and the young mature quickly.

Conservation: Listed as Critically Endangered, the species is believed to have undergone a decline of 80% over a period of 27 years, due primarily to a decline in area and quality of habitat within the known range of the species.