L is for Lemur – There are around a 100 different types of Lemur and this week I have decided to pick just one, it is a Lemur that I think everyone would recognize, the Ring Tailed Lemur. All wild Lemurs live on the island of Madagascar, the name Lemur means Ghost or Spirits and this was first used for the Loris (a nocturnal lemur) but is now used for all the Madagascan primates. The range in size and shape, the smallest being the cutely names mouse lemur (at just 30 grams).
The Ring Tailed lemur lives in large groups of up to around 30, the groups huddle together to keep warm and are very social. The ring tailed lemur is also one of the few species living in a matriarchal society, this means that it is the females who have control over the group.
Lemurs of all kinds are at threat from deforestation in Madagascar, large areas of their habitat has been lost to farming. Lemurs are also at threat from humans who hunt them for bushmeat, they are also one of the main food sources for hawks and a previous entry into my endangered species list, the Fossa. Ring Tailed Lemurs seem to adapt to zoo life fairly well and there are now over 2000 of the animals in zoos around the world, this has helped with breeding the animals but it also means that lemurs are sometimes taken from the wild for private zoos and to become pets.
I am approaching my halfway mark now, Letter M is next week and then it will be downhill all the way for me, I will however need to start thinking about some of the more difficult letters such as Z, Q and X. You can donate to the WWF-UK by visiting this link – https://www.justgiving.com/