What Is a Lemur's Habitat?

lemur-s-habitat Credit: Pierre-Yves Babelon/Moment/Getty Images

Lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar, located off the southeast edge of Africa. The small primates, known for their unusual appearance and curious behavior, live primarily in trees, although some larger varieties of lemur live on the ground, according to National Geographic.

The island of Madagascar has a tropical climate with half the year considered the rainy season and the other half the dry season. Its terrain is diverse, ranging from mountains to beaches and lagoons, according to Lemurs.us. Lemurs are found in all parts of the island, as long as there are trees to live in. However, previously covered by forest, Madagascar has lost roughly 80 percent of its trees to farming and logging. This has forced arboreal lemurs to concentrate their populations in remaining forests.

Wild Madagascar reports that lemurs are the world's most threatened primate, owing largely to habitat destruction. But despite their small overall numbers, there are 90 varieties of lemur on Madagascar. Ongoing deforestation, hunting of lemurs for trophies and the negative impacts of global warming on the ecosystem continue to endanger the animals. The mongoose, introduced from India, also preys on lemurs, which have yet to grow accustomed to this relatively recent threat.