Species: Bemaraha woolly lemur (Avahi cleesei)
Status: Endangered (EN)
Interesting Fact: The Bemaraha woolly lemur is named after the renowned British comedian John Cleese for his efforts to protect and preserve lemurs.
The Bemaraha woolly lemur is a little known primate first described in 2005. It is found only in the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in central-western Madagascar. The Bemaraha woolly lemur spends most of the time high in the canopy, sleeping during the day and emerging at night to forage. Small family groups emerge shortly after dusk to groom and feed upon leaves, buds, bark and fruits. These lemurs are extremely vocal and will maintain contact with distinctive whistles
Unique amongst Madagascan primates, woolly lemurs are monogamous. Juveniles may stay with the parents for several years, helping to defend small territories of around two hectares.
Known from just a single national park, the Bemaraha woolly lemur is extremely vulnerable to habitat loss. A population around the village of Ankinajao is already believed to have become extinct due to excessive logging, and its total range is now probably no more than 5,000 square kilometres. Little is known about the ecology and distribution of the Bemaraha woolly lemur, and further studies are needed to understand and conserve this Madagascan primate.
Find out more about the Bemaraha woolly lemur in the American Journal of Primatology brief report PDF.
See the Bemaraha woolly lemur on ARKive.
Lauren Pascoe, ARKive Researcher