IUCN Red List status:

Critically Endangered

For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredlist.org

Animal vulnerability index Animal vulnerability index

Suitably named after their appearance, white-belted ruffed lemurs have a white band around their waist and white ruffs around their faces.

These lemurs are crepuscular, which mean they are normally only active in the early hours of the morning and the late evening. During this time, they are often found foraging for food! White-belted ruffed lemurs are very social animals and live in female dominated groups. These primates exhibit a “fusion” social systems where groups of 16 split in to smaller core groups at certain times of the year to forage for food when fruits are scarce.

These lemurs will usually give birth to twins, but are the only lemur species that doesn’t carry its young. They will carry their young in their mouths or choose to leave them in a safe spot while they forage for food. They have a very distinctive call which sounds like a very deep barking sound and can be heard over very long distances.



The white-belted ruffed lemur is one of the world’s most endangered primates. Due to habitat loss, these lemurs have faced an 80% reduction of their population in the last 21 years. It is critically endangered, with its population decreasing every year.

Dr Nick Davis, Assistant Curator of Mammals and primatology expert at the zoo, said:

“All is not lost though, we have been working with project partners Madagasikara Voakajy in Madagascar, helping to engage with local communities, persuading them that the forests and the animals that live there are worth protecting. It’s certainly a long process, but looking ahead, it will shape the future of the island for generations.”


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