Lemur and their Natural Threats
The Lemur doesn’t have very many natural predators out there. However, there are a few of them that they have to be wary of. The Fossa is the main natural predator of the Lemur. This is a type of cat like mammal that is only found in the area of the Madagascar Islands. It is closely related to the Mongoose family which is very strong and agile.
The number of Lemurs that the Fossa has consumed in recent years is very high. This is due to the fact that their other food sources have become very hard to come by. They are opportunistic so they will consume whatever they can find. The other factor is that the Lemurs are having to move around more and more in order to find their own adequate means of food. This makes them more open to the hunting of the Fossa.
The Harrier Hawk is also a common predator the Lemur. It is active at night, then it will swoop down and attack with their powerful claws. Many young Lemurs are taken right off the backs of their mothers by this particular predator. They have great eyesight and even the trees aren’t enough to save them from becoming a fast meal.
Humans though are the biggest problem for the Lemurs. In fact, due to them trapping and hunting them some of the species are now considered to be endangered. In many locations they have been killed due to the fact that the culture there believes they are evil spirits. They don’t want the Lemurs lurking around bringing strife to their people.
In other locations they have become the victims of humans cutting away the forests. With the trees removed the habitat of the Lemurs is scarce. They also find it harder and harder to find enough food to survive on. Even though the Lemurs can leap far, the cutting down of trees sporadically through the forest creates problems for them.
The Lemur really isn’t designed to be able to fight back with any of the predators out here. It relies on a couple of tools though to help it be successful. They give of high pitched squeals when they fear danger. This type of alarm is a call to others in the Lemur family that they need to find shelter.
This type of alert system can often help to reduce the number of Lemurs that are wiped out by a given predator that is in the area. If the family isn’t able to run and hide they may gang up on the predator. This is known as mobbing and most of the time the natural predator will go away. That isn’t the case with humans though due to the powerful weapons they have available.
What is also interesting is that Lemurs may use tools in their natural setting to help them fight predators. They include rocks and sticks. They are very ingenious when it comes to problem solving. Regardless though the Lemur usually isn’t the triumphant source when it comes to predators.
This is especially true with the human element of it. In fact, most experts feel that humans are the #1 reason why complete Lemur populations have been wiped out. They also feel this is the main reason why some Lemurs are at risk of extinction today. Even with conservation efforts in place it is very hard to stop the efforts of humans who put their own needs before those of animals such as the Lemur.