#SpeciesSpotlight on the Eastern Woolly lemur (Avahi laniger)! While the common…

#SpeciesSpotlight on the Eastern Woolly lemur (Avahi laniger)! While the common name of the woolly lemurs refers to their thick, tightly-curled fur, the generic name is an interpretation of their high-pitched defensive call, ava hee. Like all species in the genus, the eastern woolly lemur possesses a long, thin tail and elongated, powerful hind limbs that enable it to leap spectacular distances from one vertical perch to another.

The eastern woolly lemur typically lives in monogamous pairs, but small groups of up to five related individuals have also been reported. As a nocturnal and arboreal species, pairs or groups usually pass the day sleeping huddled together in thick foliage, several meters off the ground. Just after dusk, the pairs normally spend some time grooming, before going off to forage alone in the tree canopy, all the while maintaining contact through regular high-pitched whistles. Most foraging activity occurs in the first and last two hours of darkness, with the time in between normally spent resting and grooming.

Mature females are thought to be capable of producing a single infant each year, around August and September. Initially the young cling to the female’s belly, but when older are transported on the back.

The eastern woolly lemur is classified as Vulnerable (V) on the IUCN Red List. Although the population is probably declining in response to habitat loss caused by logging and slash-and-burn agriculture, it is still relatively widespread and common. Furthermore, its nocturnal habit makes it less vulnerable to hunting, compared with many of the diurnal lemur species in the Indriidae family.

For more information, please visit http://www.arkive.org/eastern-woolly-lemur/avahi-laniger/image-G54530.html

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