Greater bamboo lemur

The Greater bamboo lemur s found exclusively on the island of Madagascar and can be immediately recognized by its prominent white ears. The Greater bamboo lemur was actually believed to have been extinct up until 1972 when a small isolated population was discovered. Like many other lemurs the Greater bamboo lemur is currently listed as critically endanger due to habitat loss and human expansion, this is especially critical for the Greater bamboo lemur because as the name suggests the Greater bamboo lemur feeds primarily on bamboo making it a difficult task for the Greater bamboo lemur’s to relocate naturally.

bamboolemur1 Greater bamboo lemur
A Greater bamboo lemur feeding
A Greater bamboo lemur feeding

Greater bamboo lemur’s are the largest species of bamboo eating lemur and can sometimes be difficult to identify due to variations in color. Generally the Greater bamboo lemur has gray/brown colored fur with lighter shades of gray on its underside and deeper brown/red colors on its head and upper torso. Not all of the Greater bamboo lemur’s boast this coloration and recently a small group has been discovered with a much more golden/red coloration.

The Greater bamboo lemur are found in the south eastern region of Madagascar situated within the tropical bamboo forests. These dense bamboo forests are the only place Greater bamboo lemur’s have been found and the current population is estimated at around 1000 strong.

bamboolemur2 Greater bamboo lemur
Inter-group grooming
Inter-group grooming

The Greater bamboo lemur’s diet is almost completely comprised of bamboo produce with the occasional addition of fruit or fungi. Depending on the season the Greater bamboo lemur’s are known to eat different parts of the bamboo usually feeding on the inner pith during the dry season and switching to the newly sported bamboo shoots toward November. Unlike the closely related Golden bamboo lemur the Greater bamboo lemur will feed on mature bamboo leaves as well as young leaves without suffering from poisoning.

Very little is known about the social structure of these rare lemurs but it is thought that the Greater bamboo lemur’s can live in groups of up to 12 individuals with average groups being around 6 or 7 individuals.

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