Collared brown lemur (Eulemur collaris)

Synonyms: Eulemur fulvus collaris
GenusEulemur (1)
SizeHead-body length: 39 - 40 cm (2)
Tail length: 50 - 55 cm (2)
Weight2.25 – 2.5 kg (2)

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed under Appendix I of CITES (3).

This medium-sized lemur has a horizontal posture, which is suited to its predominantly quadrupedal mode of movement (2). These lemurs are also capable of leaping considerable distances, their long furry tails assisting them in maintaining their balance (5). Colouration of this lemur differs between the sexes. Males possess brownish-grey upperparts, with a darker tail and paler brown-grey underparts. The muzzle, forehead and crown are dark slate-grey, this colour gradually becoming paler as it extends down the back of the neck, with a dark stripe continuing down the spinal ridge. The cheeks and beard are thick, bushy and cream to reddish-brown in colour. Females have browner, often redder, upperparts than males, while the underparts are pale creamy-grey. The head and face are grey, with a faint grey stripe extending over the crown. The cheeks are considerably shorter and less bushy than in males. The eyes of both sexes are orange-red (2).

Found in south-eastern Madagascar, from the Mananara River south to the area north of Tolagnaro (2).

Tropical moist lowland and montane forest (4). Collared brown lemurs are arboreal and spend most of their time in the upper layers of the forest (6).

Collared brown lemurs live in multimale-multifemale groups of around 3 to 12 individuals, although group sizes of 29 individuals have been observed. Breeding is seasonal with mating occurring between June and July. The gestation period is approximately 120 days, with infants born between September and November (5). A single offspring is usual, although twins have been reported (2). Collared brown lemurs reach sexual maturity between one and two years, and the lifespan in the wild is thought to range between 20 and 25 years (2) (5).

This species is cathemeral, meaning it is active at varying times throughout the day and night. Fruit forms the bulk of this lemur’s diet (4), although young leaves, flowers, bark, sap, soil, insects, centipedes and millipedes may also be eaten (6).

Habitat destruction remains the primary threat to this lemur, largely as a result of the explosive growth in the human population on Madagascar (5). Hunting and trapping for food or the pet trade also constitute a significant threat to the collared brown lemur (2).

The collared brown lemur is known to occur naturally in only two national parks, Andohahela and Midongy du Sud, but has also been introduced into two private reserves, Kalambatritra Special Reserve and St. Luce Private Reserve (4). Captive bred populations also exist in institutions worldwide (5). The fate of the collared brown lemur will most probably be determined by the future of its forest habitat, which needs to be better preserved if the survival of this lemur is to be safeguarded.

For further information on the collared brown lemur see:

Garbutt, N. (1999) Mammals of Madagascar. Pica Press, Sussex.

Mittermeier, R.A., Tattersall, I., Konstant, W.R., Meyers, D.M., and Mast, R.B. (1994) Lemurs of Madagascar. Conservation International, Washington, D.C.

Animal Diversity Web:

Authenticated (21/11/2005) by Matt Richardson, independent primatologist and writer.

  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2009)