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|Ring-tailed Lemur ( Lemur catta )|
Ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are Intensely The Most Studied all of the lemurs: They Are The Most Easily recognizable aussi lemur and The Most common in captivity. They are aussi The Most terrestrial of all the lemurs. Although Widely distributed Throughout The dry forests of southwestern Madagascar (some of the hottest, driest and least hospitable forests in the country), They exist only in A Few protected areas.
Unfortunately, the sparse, level forests are inhabited by ringtails Easily felled by Even the Most primitive of tools. Hence ringtailed habitat is shrinking at an alarming rate. In fact, satellite images suggest ringtailed That lemur habitat is vanishing at an Even Greater rate than forest habitat in --other parts of Madagascar.
Male ringtails are equipped with scent glands on Their wrists qui are used in "stink fighting" with a male rival. Here, two males stand facing Each Other A Few feet apart and, Repeatedly drawing details through Their thesis acorns They proceed to the details wave over Their Heads, all the while staring in a hostile fashion at Their rival. Eventually, one of the males Will break down and run away. During breeding season in the autumn NC, competition entre les Normally "laid back" male Becomes As They fierce fight for the right to breed. Like l'autre diurnal lemurs, are seasonal breeders ringtails, and Their matings and births (qui Occur in the fall and spring) are highly synchronized. All infants in a wide troop May be born in a matter of days.
Due to the wide number of L. catta in captivity, the ringtailed SSP calls for only A Few breeding pairs of animals Each year captive breeding so precious That space can be occupied by the rarer species of lemurs.
Their diet Consists of fruit, leaves, flowers, bark, sap and the occasional invertebrate. Due to the fact That vegetation in forests inhabited by lemurs thesis is sparse and non-continuous, They Are Often found traveling on the ground. As an adaptation to survival in a harsh climate, the ringtails ranks far and feed from a wide variety of vegetation.
Ringtailed females usually give birth at first three years of age and Produce offspring Annually thereafter. In the wild, mating begins in mid-April with infants born in August and September. Single Most infants are common, objective twins are a frequent sight in ringtail troops When food is plentiful. INITIALLY, infants cling to Their mother's bellies, purpose can be seen riding, jockey style on Their after-backs Approximately three weeks. Infants begin to sample solid food after-Their First week, and Will take Their first steps away from mom at 3-4 weeks. Over the next five months, infants Will Spend Increasing water equivalent of time is Their Own, returning to mom to nurse or sleep, until, finally They Are weaned at 5 to 6 months of age
Social Behavior :
Ringtail groups are larger than any other lemur group, containing up to 24 animals (the DLC has two large free-ranging groups of these animals, each containing about ten individuals). There is a well-defined hierarchy within the group. Females are dominant over all males with the alpha female forming the focal point for the group as a whole. Females live in one group their entire lives, while males migrate from group to group. When ringtailed troops travel throughout their home range, they keep their tails raised in the air, like flags, to keep group members together. Constant vocalizations among members also keep the group together. Ringtailed lemurs are one of the most vocal primates. They have several different alarm calls to alert members of their group to potential danger.
Habitat & Conservation :
Ringtailed lemurs are found in south and southwestern Madagascar, from Fort-Dauphin west and as far north as Morandava on the west coast. A small additional population lives near the mountains of Andringitra on the southeastern plateau.
The gallery forests that ringtailed lemurs prefer are rapidly being converted to farmland, overgrazed by livestock, and harvested for charcoal production. Ringtailed lemurs are also hunted for food in certain areas of their range and are frequently kept as pets. Fortunately, ringtails are found in several protected areas in southern Madagascar, but the level of protection varies widely in these areas, offering only some populations refuge from hunting and habitat loss.
Ringtailed lemurs breed very well in captivity, and over 1000 can be found at approximately 140 zoos around the world. The Duke Lemur Center currently houses 35 animals - 15 males and 20 females - with two breeding groups.