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Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Managed Care

History in Managed Care

  • Europe
    • 1748: first living ring-tailed lemur
  • North America
    • Historical notes
      • 1901: first record of an individual in managed care
        • Housed at the Bronx Zoo
      • 1901-1926
        • Few individuals in North America
        • Housed at three zoos: Bronx, Philadelphia, and the National Zoo
      • 1927-1961
        • No records of ring-tailed lemurs in North American zoos
      • >1960
        • Increasingly common; now one of the most commonly housed lemurs

Husbandry and Breeding

  • Housing
    • Typically held in groups of 5-6
      • Reproduction less likely in smaller groups
    • Tame L. catta enjoy being petted and are affectionate to their keepers
  • Breed well in zoos
    • 120 born in ISIS zoos from June 2000 to December 2000
  • Most thoroughly studied lemur

Current North American Population (from Grand 2015)

  • 890 individuals, as of 20 Jan 2015
    • housed across 168 institutions
    • 437 males, 406 females, and 47 unsexed individuals

San Diego Zoo Global

  • Historical notes
    • 1938: first ring-tailed lemur housed at the San Diego Zoo
    • 1972: first ring-tailed lemur housed at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly Wild Animal Park)
    • Zoological Society of San Diego exhibited L. catta beginning in 1938 (Zoo) and in 1972 (Wild Animal Park)
  • Current population (from ZIMS 2015)
    • San Diego Zoo
      • 2 individuals; one male, Matthew, and one female, Tweena
    • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
      • 7 individuals; 1 male, 5 females, and 1 unsexed
      • On exhibit in Lemur Walk
        • An immersive experience where guests can walk along a path inside the exhibit and watch lemurs frolic among the trees, branches, and path around them.

Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed lemurs are highly vulnerable to long-term habitat disturbances. Formerly designated as vulnerable, the species is now classified as endangered. Isolated populations generally have low density. Suspected population reduction of >50% is expected to occurr over three generations (c. 36 years).

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global.
All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Altman, Doyle and Izard (1995)
Grand (2015)
Mittermeier et al. (1992)
Sauther (2002)
ZIMS (2015)

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