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Gentle lemur

Hapalemur alaotrensis

Listed as Critically Endangered, the range of this lemur species is significantly less than 500 acres. The entire wild population exists at a single location!

Interesting fact: This is the only primate known to man that lives exclusively in a marshland habitat!

Find out more...


Habitat & threats

Gentle lemurs are found only in the isolated marshland areas surrounding Lake Alaotra. They travel through the reed beds by climbing to the top of tall reeds and catching hold of the next reed as it sways under their weight or by short leaps. They are seriously threatened by human activity. Habitat destruction is causing significant shrinkage to their very limited range of marshland home and they are also hunted for bush meat.



They have a very specialised diet consisting of only four grass varieties. Because of this, we feed them a specialised pellet food in captivity and a variety of leafy browse items.


Breeding and social dynamics

They live in small groups, only one adult male within the group reproduces but more than one female can give birth in the same season. Twins are not uncommon and gestation is about 145 days. The young are carried in the mouth and are 'parked' in dense grass for short periods of time until they are strong enough to be carried piggy-back style.



Part of a managed European breeding programme.