Name: Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
Conservation Status: Endangered (2021 IUCN Red List)
Population Estimate: Decreasing
Threats: Agriculture / Hunting and Trapping / Logging
It took scientists decades to agree that the aye-aye was actually a lemur. It is truly the most bizarre of all lemurs, and one of the most endangered. The black, scruffy-looking aye-aye has a head too large for its body, striking orange eyes, oversized teeth, huge bat-like ears, and uniquely elongated fingers tipped with long claws.
The aye-aye is a nocturnal forager whose behavior has been likened to woodpeckers and raccoons. It uses its slender middle fingers to probe for and pry out insect grubs and juicy meats from coconuts.
The aye-aye is so feared by the Malagasy (the people of Madagascar) that in much of the country it is killed on sight. The aye-aye was once thought to be extinct, but recent discoveries suggest there may be 100 or more aye-ayes alive in the wild.
Case Study on the Black Lemur
Case Study on the Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemur
Spotlight on Madagascar
Spotlight on Island Biogeography
Click here for Endangered Species Classroom Activities
Click here for Endangered Species Classroom Glossary