The black and white ruffed lemur is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List, due to over 80% population decline over the past 21 years. This decline is predominantly due to deforestation and lemur trapping which are both major problems for lemur species in Madagascar. V. variegata are the largest extant species of the family Lemuridae, and traverse through the trees on all fours. When watching these lemurs move through the canopy they really reminded us of cats, they even make purring noises and loud screeches like a domestic cat!
These lemurs were our study species when we were in Madagascar, and we were lucky enough to spend time observing them every day. We collected data on their behaviour, the plants they ate on, their faeces as well as tracking them via GPS. We are now finishing our research by analysing all of our data at the Natural History Museum in London.
See a selection of our pictures below and follow the links for videos of:
- Varecia eating with Indri vocalisation in the background
- Varecia vocalising
- Varecia eating nectar
- Varecia eating