Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur Catta) and their Habitat
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Introduction:
A young Ring-Tailed Lemur in a tree
A young Ring-Tailed Lemur in a tree


Found mostly on the southern end of the African island of Madagascar these lemurs are unable to be confused for another species. "Why?" you might ask. Read on to find out.

Appearance
Ring-Tailed Lemurs are among many other species of lemurs on Madagascar, but what makes them different? It's the fact that they can't be confused for another species of lemur. No other lemur has a tail that repeats itself in rings of black and white. The Ring-Tail is also the least agile of the lemur species, combining with moving bipedaly on the ground and quadrupedal towards leaping and climbing. Their height can range from 15 to 18 inches long head to chest with an additional 22 to 24 inches for the tail. Lifespan can be up to 20 years.

Habitat

The orange highlighting represents the range of the Ring-Tailed Lemur
The orange highlighting represents the range of the Ring-Tailed Lemur


As shown by the above map, the Ring-Tailed Lemur is within the southwestern tip of Madagascar. The South houses some of the more moist rainforests, while the west houses the more dry ones.

Behavior
Although active at night, the Ring-Tailed Lemur can sometimes be diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. Groups of these lemurs, called "troops" can contain 5 to 22 lemurs. There is never a fixed leader in the groups, but the females are dominant over the males. Territories are fixed, but never overlap with another troops.FUN FACT: Male Ring-Tails often have "Stink Fights". They rub their tails along the scent glands on their arms, then arch the tail over the head to waft the scent towards the opponent.
Reproduction
The Ring-Tailed Lemur is sexually mature at eighteen months. Gestation takes 120-125 days. A single young is born and is carried on the mother's stomach for two week, then they grow independent at six months.

A mother Ring-Tailed Lemur and her young.
A mother Ring-Tailed Lemur and her young.

A newborn Ring-Tailed Lemur
A newborn Ring-Tailed Lemur


´╗┐Endangered Species
The Ring-Tailed Lemur is an endangered species caused by deforestation for hardwoods, firewood, and agricultural land space. Buzzards and hawks act as predators for the little guys. Humans, with the help of dogs, hunt the lemurs for food. Droughts cause the death of many female and children lemurs. Gene Flow is also a problem, since genetically, all Ring-Tails are the same. This causes a disease to not only be able to kill one lemur, but maybe a whole troop. The environment can't afford to lose such a wonderful, fun-loving creature. So make sure you keep the environment healthy and happy.

Since the arrival of humans on Madagascar approximately 2000 years ago, roughly 80% of the total forest cover has been lost due to extraction of precious hardwoods, fuelwood and other products as well as to clear land for agricultural and grazing lands
Since the arrival of humans on Madagascar approximately 2000 years ago, roughly 80% of the total forest cover has been lost due to extraction of precious hardwoods, fuelwood and other products as well as to clear land for agricultural and grazing lands


A Happy Ring-Tailed Lemur
A Happy Ring-Tailed Lemur




References


Ring-tailed lemur picture. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.worldwildlife.org/ogc/images/groups/adoptions/large-ring-tailed-lemur-photo.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.worldwildlife.org/ogc/species_SKU.cfm%3Fgid%3D19&usg=__70O-xhGSXGw7PWb8_EexE0dgV1w=&h=269&w=432&sz=104&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=hmvPk0pcroWsIM:&tbnh=121&tbnw=195&ei=f9ffTbegKsTUgQe64dXVCg&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dring-tailed%2Blemur%2Bfacts%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1260%26bih%3D613%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=157&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0&tx=99&ty=75



Ring-tailed lemur map. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.defenders.org/images/factsheets/range/RangeMap_RingTailedLemur_550x400.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/ring-tailed_lemur.php&usg=__C1Llgo9GkP2cYhyyk8gl3hOweLA=&h=400&w=550&sz=26&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=grc9dasCMGUlpM:&tbnh=142&tbnw=195&ei=pdnfTficIpHqgQfal43pCg&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dring-tailed%2Blemur%2Bfacts%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1260%26bih%3D613%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=671&vpy=91&dur=5000&hovh=191&hovw=263&tx=149&ty=88&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0&biw=1260&bih=613