Golden Bamboo Lemur

Golden Bamboo Lemur at Ranomafana.

The golden bamboo lemur is a medium-sized bamboo lemur endemic to southeastern Madagascar. It was discovered in 1986 by Patricia Wright, in what is now Ranomafana National Park. The park was opened in 1991 to protect this endangered lemur, as well as several other lemur species and other flora and fauna.

It is listed as an endangered species due to habitat loss. The population is declining, with only about 1,000 individuals remaining. As its name indicates, this lemur feeds almost exclusively on grasses, especially the giant bamboo or volohosy (Cathariostachys madagascariensis). The growing shoots of this bamboo contain 0.015% (1 part in 6667) of cyanide. Each adult lemur eats about 500 g (18 oz) of bamboo per day, which contain about 12 times the lethal dose of cyanide for most other animals of this size.

The golden bamboo lemur is crepuscular. It is 28–45 cm long plus a tail of 24–40 cm, and weighs on average 1.6 kg. Females give birth to one infant per year and breed every year and the gestation period is about 138 days.

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