Scientific name: Lemur catta

It lives in the mountain rain forests with temperatures that can vary between -7°C and 48°C depending on the location. While some lemurs live mainly in trees, the ring-tailed lemur is different. It spends 65% of its time on the ground, sometimes taking a biped stance. Usually, though, it walks or runs on its four paws, the front and the back working almost together. It holds its tail in a circle shape, accompanying its movement by a very visible flexion and extension of its backbone. During its daily travels, the animal can cover between 920 and 960 meters, a distance that’s quite lengthy for its size.

Did you know?

The female is the leader

Groups of ring-tailed lemurs include an average of 16 individuals. This number can go up to 25. When they travel, the dominant female, accompanied by the dominant male or males, heads up the group.

Key figures

  • Length: 40 cm
  • Weight: 3 to 4 kg
  • 14 black and white rings on its tail
  • Life expectancy: about 20 years.
  • It can jump more than 10 meters
  • Gestation period: 120 to 136 days with a birth weight of about 70 g

Keep up hope

An animal that the IUCN is fighting for

Even though protective activities should be increased, ring-tailed lemurs already benefit from protective measures in the four reserves where they live on the island of Madagascar. The animals are watched over by full-time guards. Programs have been launched to increase villagers' awareness of the immense importance of the forest, and the reserves' role in the development of education and tourism.
The ring tailed lemur is undoubtedly one of the least threatened lemur species. There are more than 100 lemur species in Madagascar, and 46 of these are still little known. Did you know, for example, that the smallest primate in the world is part of this species, Madame Berthe's mouse lemur? It weighs just 30 grams. Did you know that there's a lemur with turquoise eyes, a unique case in non-human primates?