Endangered Species: Ring-Tailed Lemurs


Shaoshao Tang, Author

Hello! Welcome to the second article in the endangered animals mini-series. Today, I’ll be introducing the ring-tailed lemur. The Lemur Catta, more commonly known as the ring-tailed lemur, belongs to the Lemuridae family-one of five lemur families. 

The ring-tailed lemur is the most recognized lemur due to its long, black, and white ringed tail. Ring-tailed lemurs weigh on average 5 to 7.5 pounds. The size of their head and body on average is 17.75 inches, while their tail spans 21.75 inches on average. It is also important to keep in mind that females are usually smaller than males. Ring-tailed-lemurs have a life span ranging from 16-19 years, with females giving birth to one to two offspring at a time, depending on the abundance of food. 

The species is native to Madagascar-located 400 kilometers off the coast of East-Africa, in the Indian ocean. They live in Madagascar’s southwestern part, inhabiting arid, open areas and forests that range from 15-57 acres in size. Ring-tailed lemurs are the most terrestrial of lemurs; the semi-terrestrial mammal will spend 40% of their time on the ground.

The ring-tailed lemur is an omnivorous creature, meaning that it feeds on both plants and insects; however, the lemur feeds primarily on fruit. The species is essential to the ecosystem in many parts of Madagascar. They play an essential role in the ecosystem in many parts of Madagascar-keeping the habitat healthy as seed dispersers and pollinators.

Despite what many people think, lemurs are very adept and socially complex creatures. Lemurs will organize themselves into groups called Troops. A troop of lemurs can range from three to 25 members.

Unfortunately, the number of ring-tailed lemurs left in the wild is beginning to decrease, the species subsequently classified as endangered. Listed as an endangered animal by the IUCN in 2014, the number of ring-tailed lemurs left in the wild dropped below 2,000 individuals in 2017. The main reason behind the decrease in ring-tailed lemurs is habitat loss due to deforestation and hunting. 

During the times of Covid-19, many conservations are struggling to help ring-tailed lemurs because of lack of funding and tourists. One way to help now is by funding these organizations and conservation programs that help protect the lemurs and help create new habitats. One of the many conservations includes the Lemur Conservation Foundation.


Sources used:




Credit to: