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Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


South and southwest Madagascar

  • Northern and eastern boundaries
    • Range roughly coincides with the Mangoky River
      • Including the following towns: Morondava, Ambalavao, and Tolagnaro
  • The southwestern boundary
    • Bound by the coast
  • Range extends into the interior highlands
    • Farther than other lemurs
  • Isolated populations along eastern border
    • Possibly a different subspecies
    • Inhabit region with an elevation > 2,500 m (8,202 ft), in the Madagascar Parc National d’Andringitra


Forest inhabitants

  • Prefer dense euphorbia and riparian forests
    • Remain primarily within the forest areas; sighted in semi-arid areas far from the forests
  • Other regions (from Andriaholinirina et al. 2014)
    • Gallery, littoral, and dry deciduous forest
    • Spiny bush
    • Brush and scrub
    • High-altitude, ericoid bush
    • Rocky outcrop vegetation
  • Ecologically flexible (from Andriaholinirina et al. 2014)
    • Encounters the most extreme climatic conditions on Madagascar
      • Ranges from the hottest and driest regions to the coldest
    • Capable of colonizing diverse range of habitats
      • Inhabit various vegetation types, elevational ranges, and climatic regimes
    • Take advantage of a diverse array of food
    • Water does not seem to constrain distribution


  • Mostly found at lower elevations
  • Range
    • 0-2,500 m
      • Found above tree line (>2,500 m) in an area characterized by subalpine vegetation and rocky outcrops

Distribution Map

Ring-tailed lemur distribution map

Ring-tailed lemur distribution (Lemur catta).

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN)

Page Citations

Andriaholinirina et al. (2014)
Goodman and Langrand (1996)
Yoder et al. (2000)

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