As with many other species in the primate order, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are threatened with extinction. Our articles documented declines in wild ring-tailed lemur populations and noted that fewer than 2,500 wild ring-tailed lemurs are known to persist in 32 [Gould and Sauther: Primate Conservation 2016; 30: 89–101] and 34 [LaFleur et al.: Folia Primatologica 2017; 87: 320–330] sites. A criticism of our articles [Murphy et al.: International Journal of Primatology 2017; 38: 623–628] suggested that we have inadequately sampled ring-tailed lemur populations and habitats, and misused the literature. We disagree, and provide both a detailed rebuttal and responses to specific critique points herein. Moreover, we restate our case outlining a dramatic decline of ring-tailed lemurs resulting from anthropogenic pressures (deforestation, severe habitat fragmentation, extraction for the pet and bushmeat trades). We pose several thought-provoking questions as to when is the appropriate time for researchers to “sound the alarm” about a species’ decline, and remain committed to understanding the drivers of unsustainable exploitation of this emblematic lemur, and preventing their extinction in the wild.

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