WCS Madagascar

The Red-ruffed lemur

The Red-ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) has a predominatingchestnut red coat with a body length of 50- 55 cm and a weight of 3.3-3.6kg.  It is endemic to the MaMaBayLandscape in northeastern Madagascar where it is locally called Varignena.  His geographical range is the northern partof the Antainambalana River with a density up to 11 individuals per km2.Red-ruffed lemurs are found throughout the Forest of the Masoala National Parkbut their occurrence in the Makira natural Park is not yet well defined. 

Some color variation within this species was reported in some places in theMaMaBay Landscape.  For instance, animalswith a wholly red coat were reported in the northern part of the Makira NaturalPark but their taxonomic status is not yet defined. Also, a hybrid between thered ruffed and the black-and-white ruffed lemur is reported in the MasoalaNational Park. The Red-ruffed lemur is regarded as the most frugivorous ofMadagascar’s primates.  Although its mainfood is fruit, it also consumes flowers, nectar and leaves.

The Red-ruffed lemur benefits from a good protection from the Masoala NationalPark where the major pressure is the cyclone. Management efforts are currentlydirected to population monitoring in this Park. It is still subject to the threat of hunting in some places in theMakira Natural Park, notably in the forests adjacent to human habitations, andmanagement priorities are focused on the sensitization and socio-economicsupport of the local population.

Partners Include

Ministère des Ressources Halieutiques et de la Pêche
The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

Key Staff

Aristide Andrianarimisa
Science and Research Coordinator
Nalisoa Tsilavo Randriambololona
Conservation and Research Unit Manager, MaMaBay Land/Seascape
All The Red-ruffed lemur Staff >>


WCS Madagascar Program
Villa Ifanomezantsoa, Soavimbahoaka - P.O. Box 8500 - Antananarivo 101, Madagascar
+261 20 22 597 89