Cerci the Ring-Tailed Lemur


Scientific Name: Lemur catta

Status: Endangered

Circe's Story: Circe came to SWI from a company that supplies animals for the movie industry. Due to her unpredictable temperament and wanting the best for her, she now lives at SWI where she lives with another lemur. 

Facts: Like all lemurs, Ring-Tailed Lemurs are social creatures with the female being dominant over the troop. Males and females are roughly the same size, weighing about 5lb. or 2.25 kg. Unlike other lemurs, Ring-tailed Lemurs spend about one third of their lives foraging for food on the ground, but are still arboreal and excellent climbers. They eat leaves, flowers, bark, sap, and small invertebrates. Scientists believe that the adaptation of their tail ensures everyone in the group is visually accounted for.

Aside from using visual cues, ring-tailed lemurs also communicate via scent and vocalizations. They mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands on geographic areas to claim them. Also, during mating seasons, a male will wipe his tail with the scent glands on his wrists so that when he waves his tail at other males menacingly, the other males will smell the scent and flee.

Vocally, Ring-tailed Lemurs have several different alarms calls that alert others to danger. They have several predators including fossas (mammals related to the mongoose), Madagascar Harrier-hawks, Madagascar buzzards, Madagascar ground boas, civets, and domestic cats and dogs.

Range: Ring-tailed Lemurs are limited to the southern forests of Madagascar. 

Conservation: A near-theatened species primarily due to habitat destruction, much the of the Ring-Tailed Lemurs habitat is being converted to farmland or burned for the production of charcoal. However, the Ring-Tailed Lemur in captive populations are healthy as they reproduce regularly. 

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