(Eulemur macaco macaco)
Habitat and Distribution: Found in forests and timber plantations on the northwestern tip of Madagascar (off the southeast coast of Africa) and a few outlying islands.
Size: 12-18 inches tall; 4-6 pounds
Wild Diet: Fruit, nectar, seeds, leaves, flowers, mushrooms, and occasionally insects
Predators: Raptors, fossas, and humans
Lifespan: 20-25 years in the wild
Reproduction: Black lemurs are ready to mate at 2 years old. Typically, a single baby is born after a 4-month gestation; twins are also common. Babies ride hanging from their mother’s stomach for about a month, shifting only to nurse, and then move to riding on her back.
Behavior: Black lemurs are arboreal and highly social. Troops contain up to 15 related individuals and are dominated by females. Grooming is an important social bonding activity within troops; they use their specially-shaped lower incisors as “tooth-combs” to remove parasites and excess fur from family members. They communicate using scent marking, vocalizations, body postures, and touch.
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Black lemurs are threatened by habitat loss due to logging and slash-and-burn forest clearing for agricultural purposes. They are also hunted for their fur or meat, captured for the pet trade, and occasionally killed as pests.