Mongoose Lemur

STATUSCritically Endangered


DIETFruit, flowers, leaves, and nectar

RANGENative to northern Madagascar, but are now found in the Comoro islands

HABITATDry, deciduous forests

Mongoose Lemur

Physical Description

Mongoose lemurs are the smallest of the 5 species of lemurs, weighing only approximately 3 lbs! They grow to approximately 14 inches long with an almost 19 inch tail. Females, which are typically dominant in this species, have white or creamy gray cheeks and beards and are a lighter gray overall. Males, on the other hand, have reddish brown cheeks and beards, darker tail tips, dark pygal (rump) patches, and creamy stomach coats.


Their natural predators in the wild are hawks, boa constrictors, and fossae, which are large carnivores related to the mongoose with qualities of a cat.


In the wild, they live an average of 18-20 years, but in human care, they can live into their 30s!


Females are only sexually receptive for a 24 hour period. They attract males by presenting their hind quarters, grabbing the male’s head, and/ or “chin cuffing,’ in which she cups her hand under his snout. Their gestation period is 125 days, and only one baby is born at a time.

Fun Facts

  • Lemurs are the most threatened group of mammals.
  • Groups of lemurs are “pair-bonded” and are comprised of an adult pair and their offspring. When families encounter each other in the wild, there is a lot of agitation, vocalizations, and scent-marking.

Conservation Messaging

Mongoose lemurs of Madagascar are considered the smallest of the 5 species of lemurs found in the genus Eulemur. These lemurs are listed as critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

Human activity is decimating the mongoose lemur populations and their home on the island of Madagascar is diminishing at an alarming rate. In fact, it’s estimated that about 1-2% of Madagascar’s forests are destroyed each year, and only about 10% of Madagascar’s forests remain. Slash-and-burn agriculture, clearing land for cattle, and charcoal production are destroying these precious forest ecosystems.

One thing that we can do is support sustainable agriculture practices. By purchasing products that are certified by organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance and Bird Friendly, you are helping in the conservation of forests and habitats around the world

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