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White-belted ruffed lemurs

Varecia variegata subcincta

White-belted ruffed lemur

White-belted ruffed lemurs are originally from Madagascar and their numbers are significantly declining in the wild. Yet they thrive in captivity.

Ruffed lemurs are different from other lemurs as their babies don’t cling to the mother. Babies are either carried in their mother’s mouth or left in a safe nest in a nearby tree.

These lemurs can jump very silently. They prefer to come out in the morning and evening, rather than at night. They can also be very noisy and can send out very loud barking noises on a regular basis, or when alarmed.

Our pair produce quadruplets annually, which is rare in European zoos. In April 2017, three female lemurs were born. They were named Fitiavana (meaning love in Malagasy), Vintana (meaning luck in Malagasy) and Paix (meaning Peace in French, a language spoken in Madagascar).

Animal class


Diet - Omnivore
These lemurs like to eat mainly fruit but will also take leaves, seeds and nectar.

The average white belted ruffed lemur can be up to 60 centimetres (cm) with a tail of up to 65 cm. It can weigh up to four kilograms.

White-belted ruffed lemurs prefer tropical forests of eastern Madagascar, south of the river Antainambalana.

Conservation status
White-belted lemurs are classified under Appendix I of CITES. The IUCN believes that they are facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

The white-belted ruffed lemur is threatened by habitat loss through logging, agriculture, mining and other development in Madagascar.

Current population
The current population of white-belted ruffed lemurs is 10,000 in the wild.

Zoo population
There are approximately 70 white-belted ruffed lemurs in zoos around the world. There is a European breeding programme in place for them.