Lemur Pictures, Madagascar

A Milne Edwards Sportive Lemur in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar

A Milne Edwards Sportive Lemur in Ankarafantsika National Park. Photo by Frank Vassen.

Different Lemur types

Madagascar is home to about 60 kinds of lemurs, considerably less than when mankind arrived on the island about 2, 000 years ago. The island’s largest lemurs have been hunted to extinction for food while the remainder are disappearing due to habitat loss induced by slash-and-burn cultivation techniques. Trees are being replaces by rice paddies and manioc fields.

Endangered Silky Sifakas in Marojejy National Park, Madagascar

Silky Sifakas in Marojejy National Park. The Silky is one of the most endangered species of lemur. Photo by Simponafotsy.

Black and White Ruffed lemur in Mantadia National Park, Madagascar

Black and White Ruffed lemur in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. Photo by Frank Vassen.

Mouse lemurs eating bits of fruit left by guides, Madagascar

Mouse lemurs at dusk, their dining time, in Ranomafana National Park.

Berenty Reserve

The bugcrew spent quite a few entertaining and informative days at Berenty, hanging out mainly with ring tails and chameleons. Other lemurs were leaping around the reserve in large numbers but less sociable than the ring tails. All the following photos are from Berenty.

Mother and offspring ring-tailed lemurs in Berenty, Madagascar

Ring-tailed lemurs wandering around Berenty bungalow area.

The ring-tailed lemur is highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals. It is female dominant, a trait common among lemurs. To keep warm and reaffirm social bonds, groups will huddle together. The ring-tailed lemur will also sunbathe, sitting upright facing its underside, with its thinner white fur towards the sun. Like other lemurs, this species relies strongly on its sense of smell and marks its territory with scent glands. The males perform a unique scent marking behavior called spur marking and will participate in stink fights by impregnating their tail with their scent and wafting it at opponents. More from Wikipedia.

A dancing Verreaux’s Sifaka, also in Berenty.

Verreaux’s Sifaka spend most of their time in trees but when it’s necessary to cross open land to get somewhere they bounce across the space at speed, arms aloft and spinning like tiny, furry ballerinas. This is probably the fastest way to travel and thus avoid becoming dinner for one of Madagascar’s few predators, the fossa (a kind of puma/dog cross).

Verreaux's Sifaka in a tree, Madagascar

Another Sifaka hanging out.

Brown lemurs on territory alert, Madagascar

Brown lemurs on alert for intruding Browns. Lemurs tend not to be troubled by other species of lemurs.

Guest room Invasion of ring-tailed lemurs, Berenty, Madagascar

And finally a shot of ring-tails exploring – with great delicacy and interest – our baggage in Berenty reserve. No damage or loss. If they had been Macaques (which fortunately don’t live in Madagascar) everything would have been shredded.

Berenty is a charming little private nature reserve in the far south of Madagascar, with comfortable bungalows, pleasant facilities and plenty of lemur and chameleon action in the immediate vicinity. And by immediate we mean inside the bedrooms! Fortunately lemurs are quite unlike monkeys in that they only inspect with interest, they don’t deliberately destroy things.