Our Black and White Ruffed Lemurs

The Black and White Ruffed lemur is native to Madagascar, as are all other lemurs.  Scientists think they floated over to the island about 65 millions years ago.  When they got there it was pretty much uninhabited, so they took over.  There are over 100 different species of lemurs and these are the second largest in their family and they are the loudest lemur overall.   They make a call called the roar-shriek to defend their trees in the wild.  

This species is led by their females.  There is usually one alpha female in a group of 2 to 30 lemurs.  She is the one foraging for the food, when she finds it she makes a call and all the other females come in to eat, then the males get the scraps.  Black and Whites follow fission-fusion dynamics in their group, so the size changes depending on the season.  Rainy seasons result in larger groups, dry seasons in smaller. 

The Black and White Ruffed Lemur is a critically endangered species, with a wild population estimated to be between 1,000-10,000, which is a very small number.   Conservationists are doing their best to keep this species around, but for now zoological institutions are the safest place for them to be.  

They have 2-3 babies every litter, usually every couple of years or so.  This species hides their young in nests up in the tree canopy so that nothing can get to them.  Because the females are the foragers, the males will help defend the nests while the mom is away.

Pictured Above: Mork(Dad), Mittens (Mom), Fran (Son), Daisy (Daughter)