Red ruffed lemur curled around a tree branch

Red ruffed lemur

Contrasting coat colours make the red ruffed lemur one of the most beautiful lemurs. Rarely descending from the canopy of Madagascar's tropical rainforests, the females leave their litters in tree top nests or stashing locations where they're looked after by other members of the community. Sadly, the young are prone to falling out of these nests. Big groups of red ruffed lemurs come together in the wet season when fruit is plentiful, then break up as the season dries and food becomes scarce. They are large for lemurs and very vocal, barking in guttural yaps when their only natural predator, the fossa, comes too close.

Scientific name: Varecia rubra

Rank: Species

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The Red ruffed lemur can be found in a number of locations including: Madagascar. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Red ruffed lemur distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Rainforest Rainforest
Rainforests are the world's powerhouses, the most vital habitats on the planet. Characterised by high rainfall, they only cover 6% of the Earth across the tropical regions, but they contain more than half of its plant and animal species.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Video collections

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  • David Attenborough's Madagascar David Attenborough's Madagascar

    Like nowhere else on Earth, the mystery and magic of Madagascar leaves a vivid impression on all those who visit, and none more so than David Attenborough.