Red ruffed lemur

As its name suggests, the red ruffed lemur has a rust coloured ruff and body fur.

They have black heads and tails and a white patch of fur on the back of their necks.

There are just two types of ruffed lemur – the red and the black and white. We have both at Folly Farm.

The red ruffed lemur makes its home high up in the rainforest ‘canopy’, the top of trees, on Madagascar. In the wild they can live for between 15 and 20 years.

Our group of red ruffed lemurs live next our black and white ruffed lemurs near our pride of lions and mob of meerkats.

Conservation

The red ruffed lemur is critically endangered. This is why we're part of a breeding programme.

The biggest threat to red ruffed lemurs, and all lemur species, is hunting for their meat and their habitat being destroyed, through the illegal logging of trees. The forests of Madagascar have been reduced by 85% due to people cutting down trees for fuel, for building materials and for farmland.

Red ruffed lemur questions and answers

Where do red ruffed lemurs live?
All types of lemur live on Madagascar which is an island off the East coast of Africa. They live in the rainforest. They’re good climbers and spend most of their time high in the trees, avoiding predators.

What do red ruffed lemurs eat?  
Red ruffed lemurs mostly eat fruit, although they will eat shoots and leaves too. We feed our red ruffed lemurs all kinds of fruit and when it’s really hot we make them fruit lollies to cool them down.

What is a group of red ruffed lemurs called?
Usually we simply call a group of lemurs a ‘group’ but there are all kinds of wonderful names you can use. We’ve heard of a ‘conspiracy of lemurs’, a ‘troop of lemurs’ and even a ‘plot of lemurs’.

Red ruffed lemur babies

What noise do red ruffed lemurs make?
Ruffed lemurs are known for being very loud. They make loud, screeching calls to warn each other of any danger.

How many different types of lemur are there?
There are nearly 100 different types of lemur – too many to list! From the smallest ‘Mouse’ lemur at just ten centimetres to the ‘Indri’ which is about 68 centimetres in length, they are all different sizes and colours. The most common species, or type, of lemur includes the ringtail, the woolly, the black and white ruffed lemur and the aye aye.

Are lemurs a type of monkey?
This is a common question we’re asked. Lemurs and monkeys are both primates but is a lemur is not a monkey. The primate order is split into ‘prosimians’, ‘monkeys’ and ‘apes’. Lemurs are prosimians and this word means ‘before monkeys.

How many babies does a red ruffed lemur have?
Red ruffed lemurs can have a litter of up to six babies. Twins or triplets are more common and we have had sets of twins born at Folly Farm. In the wild up to 60% of babies don’t survive due to falling from the nests which the mother builds high up in the trees.

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.