La Palmyre Zoo celebrates its first red-ruffed lemur birth
The breeding pair of red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra) established at the zoo in 2013 gave birth to its first babies one month ago. This is the first birth of red-ruffed lemurs in La Palmyre Zoo since the arrival of the species in 2009. The sex of the babies is yet unknown.
This endemic lemur to northeastern rainforests of Madagascar is listed as "endangered" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature). It is threatened by hunting and deforestation for slash-and-burn agriculture, a process that involves the burning of the forest to create crop fields. However, after 3 to 5 years, the soil becomes sterile and crops are not possible anymore. People then burn more forest and encroach on the natural habitat of lemurs.
The Masoala peninsula, which is home to most of the red-ruffed lemur population, is being subject to numerous conservation efforts because of its wide variety of species.
Red-ruffed lemurs are among the ‘noisiest’ primates, using around 12 different cries to communicate with each other. Newborns are weaned after 4 months and reach sexual maturity around the age of 2 years.