Skip to Main Content
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

Red-ruffed Lemur (Varecia rubra) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


Current distribution

  • Northeastern Madagascar (from Andriaholinirina et al. 2014; Mittermeier et al. 2010)
    • Masoala Peninsula
      • North and east of the Bay of Antongil within Masoloa National Park
      • Westernmost range unclear
    • Uncertain former distribution
      • Likely north to Antalaha


Primary forests (from Mittermeier et al. 2010 unless otherwise noted)

  • Moist lowland regions
    • 0-1,200 m (0-3,937 ft)
    • A single intact forest remains within its range
  • Dwell in the upper canopy (Vasey 2004)
    • Rarely on the ground (Vasey 2004)

Climate (from Vasey 2000a unless otherwise noted)

  • Annual rainfall patterns
    • Most rain falls January-August
    • Region experiences more rain than any other locality in Madagascar (Vasey 2006)
  • Temperature range
    • Mean minimum temperature
      • 19-23°C
    • Mean maximum temperature
      • 22.5-32°C

Four distinctive seasons within range (from Vasey 2006)

  • Hot, rainy
    • January-March
    • Production of fruits, flowers, and young leaves increases within forests
  • Transitional, cold
    • April-May
  • Cold, rainy
    • June-August
    • Climatic features of September unlike any of these four
  • Hot, dry
    • October-December
    • Production of fruits, flowers, and young leaves increases within forests

Distribution Map

Red-ruffed lemur distribution map

Red-ruffed lemur distribution (Varecia rubra). Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

Andriaholinirina et al. (2014)
Mittermeier et al. (2010)
Vasey (2000a)
Vasey (2004)
Vasey (2006)

SDZWA Library Links