The Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) is member of the lemur group, living in Madagascar. It is one of the biggest living lemur and can be easily recognised by its brown-red coat. The species occurs in a limited forest concession in northern Madagascar, around the Masoala peninsula (see map) The red ruffed lemur is classified as Critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for species conservation) and is in the edge of extinction due to:
Early study on the population of red ruffed lemur started after a very intense cyclone hit the peninsula in 2000. Very intense cyclone HUDAH decimated a great part of the forest, and a team from plant expert (botanists) and lemur expert teamed together to assess the impact on the habitat and population of lemur. A few cyclones hit the areas, and assessment has continued, making the area a perfect place to monitor the ability of the lemur and the forest to recover from disaster.
Activities halted a little between 2006-2015 due to lack of funding. In 2016, the London Zoo with its project over the edge funded another round of assessment of the status of the species, and study some ways to raise awareness and find ideas to help Varecia rubra lives. Scientist are now in the field counting individuals, assessing habitat status and talking with local population on the importance of saving the lemur and its habitat.