Best of 2017: Wild ring-tailed lemur population has plummeted 95% since 2000

Ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar. New research indicates that the number of wild ring-tailed lemurs has dropped significantly since the last known population estimate in 2000. (© Art Wolfe/

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A species made famous by a series of hit animated films is now threatened with extinction after a dramatic drop in its wild population.

Two new independent studies estimated that there are only between 2,000 and 2,400 ring-tailed lemurs — perhaps the most charismatic of Madagascar’s animals, and a flagship species of the country — left in the wild. This is a 95 percent decrease from the year 2000, when the last known population estimate was published. It also means that now there are more ring-tailed lemurs in zoos around the world than remain in the wild.

Find out about the latest research in the original post.

Morgan Lynch is a staff writer for CI.

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