What We Do
Our organisation, the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group (MFG) unites zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, universities and related conservation organizations worldwide to conserve the wildlife of Madagascar. With the help of our many partners, and thanks to the membership dues that these organizations provide, MFG manages Parc Ivoloina (a 282 hectare area) and the Rendrirendry Research Station at the Betampona Natural Reserve, both of which are in eastern Madagascar.
How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife
Starting in 2008, we received funding to undertake reforestation efforts in the region surrounding our project sites. The goals of this project were to work with local communities to replant trees in a 2 kilometer radius around the Betampona National Reserve. These reforestation efforts help to replenish habitat for lemurs and preserve the wider ecosystem, for the future.
We manage a 4-hectare zoological park within the larger Parc Ivoloina, where rescued and confiscated lemurs are kept in captivity until they can be released back into the wild. We also facilitate the success of captive breeding programs both in Madagascar and in partnership with programs in the United States. For example, the zoo has an established captive breeding program for Greater Bamboo lemurs and we have facilitated the first releases of captive-born black-and-white ruffed lemurs in the Betampona Nature Reserve; lemurs which had been raised by the Duke Lemur Center in the United States.
What Lemur Species We Protect
At MFG we have active research programs at our study sites in eastern Madagascar. These include research and conservation efforts aimed at helping the following species:
- Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata)
- Black lemur (Eulemur macaco)
- Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
- Indri (Indri indri)
- Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
How We Support Local Communities
At MFG we are passionate about mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in Madagascar. We teach classes, and organize workshops that are aimed at providing hands-on training in a variety of disciplines. The support we provide also involves work with farmers to improve their food production levels, and with teachers to improve how active learning strategies are incorporated in the classroom.
The MFG has a long history of undertaking environmental education projects. In 1995, we launched our Saturday School program at the Parc Ivoloina, which was designed to enhance the zoo’s education programs and discourage the acquisition of lemurs as pets.In 1997 we supplemented this program by training teachers on incorporating environmental education into the everyday school curriculum; this work resulted in the production of a 65-page manual entitled, “A practical guide for the teacher: the application of environmental education in primary school instruction.”
Over the years, these educational programs have been expanded to include both middle and high schoolers. We even provide training to elected officials in the local villages. Many of these training opportunities take place in the Ivoloina Conservation Training Center, a facility that includes a meeting room, library, and laboratory.