Ring-tailed lemurs live in troops of 15-20 individuals. Lemur troops establish territories, which they defend against other troops. When territorial fights between groups occur, the females are on the front lines. They threaten the females in the opposing group by leaping and darting toward them. The female lemurs mark trees with their scent; this warns intruders “this territory’s taken.” The male lemurs tend to hang back until the battle is over. Ring tailed lemurs are very vocal. They use calls to alert others to predators or to communicate with neighboring groups.
Range: Dry, spiny forest habitats throughout southwest Madagascar including deciduous forests, gallery forests, and arid/bush forests.
Conservation Status These lemurs are endangered. Their habitat is being turned into farmland and is greatly overgrazed. They are also hunted for food and kept as pets. Mining for nickel and cobalt, used in hybrid car batteries, has created additional habitat destruction in Madagascar.
Did you know?
These lemurs love to sunbath, sitting with their bellies facing the sun and their arms and legs stretched out to the sides.