Varecia variegata

Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur

This beautiful mammal is considered one of the largest of all lemur species. It has a black and white coloration easily mistaken for a small panda!

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Length 50 to 60cm
Weight 4kg
Lifespan 19 years
Diet Fruit, leaves and seeds
Habitat Forest
Reproduction 2 to 3 cubs
IUCN Red List Status
Not evaluated
Data deficient
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered

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It is one of the largest Lemur species. Its coat colour ranges from black to white. The face is black, with a tuft of white hair around it, which covers its ears. The eyes are yellowish and contrast with the colour of the rest of the face. Its tail is long and black.



The Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur is a diurnal, arboreal species. It lives in small family groups comprising a breeding pair and 2 to 5 offspring. However, although rare, some groups can consist of 18 to 31 individuals. They are territorial and use scent marks and loud vocalizations to establish boundaries with individuals from other groups. The breeding season occurs between May and June and gestation lasts about 3 months.



The population of these Lemurs has been drastically declining due to the destruction of their habitat and the commercial export of specimens to the US. Globally, there are about 800 black and white Lemurs in captivity, and many are part of breeding programs to ensure the continuity of the species, such as the EEP. The reduction of the extent and quality of its habitat, unsustainable hunting, and slash and burn logging have led to an 80% population decline of the species over the past 20 years.

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