Originally, the blue-eyed black lemur was the subspecies of the black lemur (Eulemur macaco) but has now been separated to its own species (Eulemur flavirons) due to genetic difference between the species. They are also known as the Sclater’s Black Lemur or Sclater’s Lemur. The blue-eyed black lemur is classisfied as critically endangered (IUCN redlist 2014) and is in the Top 25 Most Endangered Primates List.
The habitat of the blue-eyed black lemur is in the northwestern part of Madagascar, specifically in the Sahalamaza peninsula as well as the area between Befotaka and Manongarivo. The map with the habitat location is available here via the link.
Blue eyes and prominent ear tufts differentiate the blue-eyed black lemur from the black lemur. The eye colour ranges from blue gray to electric blue. Their total length is about 90-100cm (body and tail, tail is always longer than their body) and can weigh 1.6-2.0kg. They are sexually dimorphic – males are black while the females have reddish brown to blonde fur.
Food is mainly leaves and fruits though they would occasionally eat insects, flowers, fungi, nectar and seeds.
Breeding season is from April to June. Females carry 1-2 offspring and the gestation cycle is 126 days. Baby lemurs are weaned off at 5-6 months and become sexually mature at 2-3 years old.
It is assumed that blue-eyed black lemurs may have same social habits as the black lemur: social groups of 7-10 individuals, bias towards males in group ratio and females are dominant, having preferential access to food and choice of whom to mate with.
Scent marking is the primary mode of communication. Males also mark by rubbing their palms or wrists and by head rubbing.
There are approximately only 1,000 blue-eyed black lemurs in the wild. The biggest threat to their population is habitat destruction through slash and burn agriculture, logging, mining and forest fires. They are also hunted for food and kept as pets. Our organization is working closely with the local community to protect the habitat where the blue-eyed black lemur lives.
Help us conserve the blue-eyed black lemur today so that the future generation may see them.
- IUCN Redlist
- Bristol Zoo
- Duke Lemur Center