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The Dr. Abigail Ross Foundation for Applied Conservation (TDARFAC)

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The Dr. Abigail Ross Foundation for Applied Conservation (TDARFAC)

Supporting Member of the Lemur Conservation Network

What We Do

The intention of TDARFAC is to bridge the gap between academic breakthroughs in conservation science and applied conservation efforts on the ground by generating actionable conservation interventions. Ultimately, our aim is to support novel applications of techniques and approaches from the natural and social sciences while leveraging existing knowledge to solve real-world problems.

How We Protect Lemurs and Other Wildlife

Grantmaking

Planet Madagascar Women’s Cooperative. The cooperative engages in independent business ventures including circus farming, forest restoration, and bee-keeping in Ankarafantsika National Park.

TDARFAC provides grants to support conservation research and community-based conservation, which aligns with our mission statement and objectives:

  1. building capacity;
  2. amplifying voices; and
  3. partnering with local communities.

TDARFAC supports individuals, collaborations or partnerships, and non-governmental organizations working in non-human primate habitat countries. The foundation’s primary focus is assisting conservationists from low- and middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank and/or people and/or organizations working therein. However, projects based on any non-human primates, their habitats, or any animal or plant species, which share and influence the same landscapes as non-human primates and directly relate to their conservation, are eligible for funding. Grants are awarded based on the guidance and recommendations of the Advisory Council.

Reforestation Corridor Connecting Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and Analamazoatra Special Reserve

Reforestation corridor team collage, EcoVision Village, Andasibe Madagascar.

We are in currently in the first phase of creating a wildlife corridor connecting two of Madagascar’s most important protected areas: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and Analamazoatra Special Reserve.

These areas are home to various Endangered and Critically Endangered wildlife species, including 12 lemur species. Wildlife populations in the two protected areas are currently not connected due to past (~1960s) deforestation that previously connected these two forests. This is a landscape scale project and hugely collaborative effort between various people and organizations.

Long-term Conservation Goals for this Project

  • Replant 1,500 native tree seedlings per hectare across 233 hectares.
  • Hire ten local community members to prepare land and plant native seedlings.
  • Support a local native seedling nursery.
  • Create a critical native forest corridor connecting some of the most Endangered wildlife populations on Earth.
  • Facilitate community-based ecotourism and research projects to provide long-term employment opportunities for local community members.
See a List of Collaborators for this Project

What Lemur Species We Protect

Diademed sifaka in Andasibe. Photo: Lynne Venart.

Our reforestation corridor project connecting Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and Analamazoatra Special Reserve contains the following species within the landscape:

  • Aye-aye, Daubentonia madagascariensis (Endangered, Population Declining)
  • Black and white ruffed lemur, Varecia variegata (Critically Endangered, Population Declining)
  • Brown lemur, Eulemur fulvus (Vulnerable, Population Declining)
  • Diademed sifaka, Propithecus diadema (Critically Endangered, Population Declining)
  • Eastern woolly lemur, Avahi laniger (Vulnerable, Population Declining)
  • Goodman’s mouse lemur, Microcebus lehilahytsara (Vulnerable, Population Declining)
  • Gray bamboo lemur, Hapalemur griseus (Vulnerable, Population Declining)
  • Greater dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus major (Vulnerable, Declining)
  • Greater sportive lemur, Lepilemur mustilinus (Vulnerable, Population Declining)
  • Hairy-eared dwarf lemur, Allocebus trichotis (Endangered, Population Declining)
  • Indri, Indri indri (Critically Endangered, Population Declining)
  • Red-bellied lemur, Eulemur rubriventer (Vulnerable, Population Declining)

How We Support Local Communities

University of Antananarivo – ADD students visiting our EcoVision tree nursery for the reforestation corridor project, Andasibe, Madagascar.

Field Training Programs for Malagasy Master’s Students in Lemur Ecology, Behavior, & Conservation

A consortium of international lemur specialists was formed in 2021 to create two parallel Field Training Programs with the intention of assisting master’s degree students at the University of Antananarivo. Our goal is to establish annual training programs at the below field sites to support the next generation of Malagasy primatologists.

Mahatsinjo Research Station in the Tsinjoarivo Forest

Students conducted fieldwork at the Mahatsinjo Research Station within the Tsinjoarivo-Ambalaomby Protected Area, with logistics coordinated through the NGO SADABE. Tsinjoarivo forest is a mid-altitude eastern rainforest with ten lemur species. The landscape at Tsinjoarivo covers an east-to-west gradient from degraded fragments with an incomplete lemur community to intact, relatively undisturbed forest with all lemurs present.

University of Antananarivo – ADD students visiting reforestation corridor project for World Lemur Day with partners EcoVision, Mad Dog Initiative, & Association Mitsinjo.

Ampijoroa Field Station in Ankarafantsika National Park

Students also conducted fieldwork at the Ampijoroa Field Station within Ankarafantsika National Park (ANP), with logistics coordinated through the NGO Planet Madagascar. ANP is a dry deciduous forest ecosystem containing eight lemur species, and also contains networks of forest fragments in which lemurs can be studied.

Awards Program

We honor scientists and activists for exceptional contributions to the field of conservation and preservation of biodiversity. Individuals may be nominated for awards by peers, mentors, and/or colleagues.

  • The Devoted to Discovery: Women Scientist Conservation Award recognizes the extraordinary and cutting-edge scientific work of women in conservation science. Women in science are encouraged to seek nominations.
  • The Advocates for Change: Future Conservationist & Activist Award honours the remarkable achievements of early-career conversationists and activists in applied conservation.

Students, educators, experts, and community activists are encouraged to seek nominations.

 

World Lemur Day booth in Maromizaha, Madagascar.

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Money for Madagascar

Money for Madagascar

What We Do

At Money for Madagascar (MfM) our mission is to enable Malagasy people to reduce poverty and protect their unique environment through sustainable, community-led initiatives.

Having long recognised the interdependence of people and their environment, MfM supports local solutions that enable Malagasy people to take charge of their own livelihoods and future. Through education, training, and practical support, we enable farmers and forest dwellers to provide for their families, whilst protecting and restoring their fragile environment and rich biodiversity.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Reforestation around Andasibe and Torotorofotsy with Association Mitsinjo


Since 2015, MfM has been working in partnership with Association Mitsinjo to gradually increase the area of restored forest around Andasibe at a rate of about 10ha per year. This has restored vital habitat for the forest’s wildlife.

In the areas already planted, reforestation has brought immediate benefits to the land in terms of erosion prevention and water absorption. In the longer term, Mitsinjo’s painstaking restoration technique provides the best conditions for the natural forest to regenerate. By using a mix of up to 60 carefully selected indigenous tree species, the Mitsinjo team harness the power of nature to complete the restoration process! By including a range of fast growing fruit trees, attractive to seed dispersers such as birds, fruit bats and lemurs, the Mitsinjo reforestation team ensure that wildlife is drawn to the replanted areas, bringing in seeds from other plants in their faeces and facilitating the return of the natural forest. Restoration of natural forest is not a fast process but replanted areas have seen the return of key indicator species such as the Blue Coua and brown lemurs.

What Lemur Species We Protect

By planting corridors to join isolated fragments of primary forest, the reforestation project around Andasibe and Torotorofotsy is extending the habitat for many endangered species such as the Indri (Indri indri) lemur.

How We Support Local Communities

Reforestation work has provided vital employment opportunities for local people and environmental education has helped to raise awareness of the value of the forests.

MfM’s reforestation work with Mitsinjo has always considered the needs of the local population and has emphasised ensuring local employment in reforestation, protection and ecotourism. Funds in 2020 made it possible to embark on sustainable livelihoods development in the hamlets of Sahatay and Sahakoa, in the Torotorofotsy buffer zone.

Supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods in these isolated communities is vital for the long-term success of Mitsinjo’s conservation and restoration efforts. 90% of the population living around the Torotorofotsy Protected Area are extremely poor and heavily dependent on the forest and wetland to meet their basic needs. Away from the eco-tourism hub of Andasibe village, they see less of the obvious benefits of keeping the forest intact. However, without their support for forest restoration and conservation, unsustainable subsistence agriculture, wildlife poaching and illegal logging will continue unabated, transforming this unique ecosystem into rice fields and destroying its rich biodiversity.

We urgently want to scale up the pace of this important work and to increase investment in both reforestation and strengthening livelihoods as a long-term strategy to restore and protect the forest.

Betampona Reserve Livelihoods Project

In Betampona we are working with our partner SAF to offer people living around the Special Rainforest Reserve practical alternatives to deforestation and wildlife poaching. By providing training, tools and long term technical support, we enable local families to improve food security and increase income whilst protecting precious wildlife habitats.

MfM takes a long-term approach to supporting families living around the Betampona special rainforest reserve. For over 30 years, MfM has focused on helping people to overcome their problems, to value and protect the land and to live off it in a sustainable way.

The project, which began in 5 communities surrounding the reserve, has now spread to 100 communities covering over 600km2.Thousands of subsistence farming families have been able to sustainably improve their lives and build a better future for their children, which is a key factor in keeping the Betampona rainforest in tact.

One of the secrets of the Betampona project’s success is the long term, people-centered approach taken by SAF’s committed team of technicians and community workers. The dedicated staff team has established deep respect and trust with the villagers. Their long-term commitment and support mean that benefits are durable and far-reaching. Instead of cutting down new forest every year to try to meet their basic needs, forest communities invest in infrastructures such as rice fields, dams, ponds and animal pens, to get more out of their existing land. Instead of poaching lemurs, farmers are able to improve their diets with fish and poultry. By planting productive trees farmers gain a stake in the forest and are motivated to value and protect it.

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Ny Tanintsika

Ny Tanintsika

What We Do

Ny Tanintsika works to empower communities to conserve lemurs through a multifaceted approach that builds local capacity, addresses livelihoods concerns and promotes stakeholder collaboration and communication.

Lemurs are crucial to Madagascar’s rich and thriving biodiversity. The decline in lemur populations and the rapid extinction of a number of species, due to habitat loss and hunting, is jeopardising this biodiversity.

Currently, a number of forest communities hunt and eat lemurs as a primary source of protein in their diet, or keep them as pets. Although protection legislation exists, it is not widely known, understood nor enforced. Habitat loss due to forest in-migration for ‘slash and burn’ agriculture, deforestation and logging is an equally crucial factor in this project.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Whilst focusing on Golden Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur aureus) species, we are gathering data on all primates in the previously unresearched forests of Ambohimahamasina and three neighbouring areas. Data collection on lemurs is conducted by local stakeholders, and forest inhabitants will become lemur monitors to ensure project sustainability.

Additionally, 12 signs encouraging lemur conservation are being erected along Ambohimahamasina’s 3 main forest footpaths crossing to the eastern side of the forest ‘corridor’.

What Lemur Species We Protect

We target lemur taxa that are categorized as being Critically Endangered, and in a listed action plan locality site (the COFAV). The Lemur Conservation Strategy lists the COFAV as being home to 21 lemur taxa of which 6 are critically endangered, 7 endangered, 4 vulnerable, 1 near threatened and 3 data deficient.

COFAV has the highest number of lemur species of any protected area in Madagascar – of which a disproportionate number are in elevated threat categories. However, scientific research on biodiversity has largely been limited to national parks.

Threatened Species Targeted:

  • Golden Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur aureus): Critically Endangered C2a(i)

Other threatened species benefitting from the project:

  • Southern Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata ssp. editorum): Critically Endangered A2cd
  • Milne-Edward’s Sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi): Endangered A2cd+3cd+4cd
  • Gilbert’s Lesser Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur griseus ssp. gilberti): Endangered B1ab(i,iii)

How We Support Local Communities

Support is being given to forest inhabitants to make their lifestyles more sustainable, which is beneficial to human communities and nature. Agricultural production on deforested land is boosted through training on improved techniques, with 6 community tree nurseries operational to provide saplings for agroforestry, reforestation and forest restoration to meet both human and lemur needs. Numerous awareness-raising initiatives are combined with promotion of alternative sources of income and protein, including small-scale fish-farming and chicken-rearing, and the capacity-building of Community Forest Management associations to reduce lemur poaching and habitat loss.

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Chances for Nature

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Chances for Nature

What We Do

Chances for natureChances for Nature spread, communicate, and promote sustainable natural resource use techniques as well as raise awareness for Madagascar’s extraordinary biodiversity. We achieve these goals through outreach, education and capacity building in small villages in rural Madagascar. Chances for Nature currently focuses many of its efforts in Central Menabe (west Madagascar), but does not limit its education initiatives to just this region.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Our work contributes to protecting lemurs by promoting sustainable use of natural resources. We work in areas which are home to lemur species and so this helps to limit negative impacts on lemur habitat.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Chances for nature - mouse lemurThe area where we have focused many of our efforts, in west Madagascar, is home to the largest remaining dry deciduous forest of Western Madagascar. This unique ecosystem is home to high floral and faunal diversity, including the world’s smallest primate: Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae).

How We Support Local Communities

Chances for Nature works closely with local communities in order to establish new programs that help spread information about how natural resources can be used sustainably in remote and resource-poor communities. The work is done in close collaboration with local communities and involves a partnership with people and elected officials in the areas where Chances for Nature works.

Environmental education

Chances for nature OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe use Malagasy-language multimedia presentations and films to promote sustainable use of natural resources. In 2013, we produced a film designed to illustrate the uniqueness of Madagascar’s biodiversity; the film also explained the consequences of unsustainable use of natural resources and presented three alternative sustainable techniques and behaviors that could be used to improve the lives of local people while reducing natural resource depletion. This film, as well as other multimedia presentations, reached Malagasy communities in 2013 and 2014 through the help of a mobile cinema. This mobile cinema works exclusively through pedal (bicycle) power and thus reaches a large amount of people – even in remote areas without electricity. The cinema was even used to raise awareness and supplement environmental education in several Malagasy schools.

Presentations have focused on educating Malagasy communities about:

  • SRI (Sustainable Rice Intensification)
  • Combining fish breeding with rice cultivation
  • Self-made ecological stoves (Fatana mitsitsy or Fatapera mitsitsy)
  • The benefits of ecological stoves (Fatana mitsitsy)
  • Ecologically-friendly charcoal

Ecological stoves

Chances for natureAs 80% of the energy consumption in Madagascar is used for cooking, the use of environmentally-friendly stoves can have a positive impact on habitat protection. Our approach combines environmental education, the promotion of sustainable techniques and behaviors, and modern media which has turned out to be very successful and motivated two communities to build and use the stoves.

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Duke Lemur Center

Duke Lemur Center logo.

Duke Lemur Center

What We Do

Founded in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center (DLC) at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, USA) is an internationally acclaimed non-invasive research center housing over 200 lemurs across 14 species: the most diverse population of lemurs on Earth, outside their native Madagascar.

Because all of our research is non-invasive, the DLC is open to the public and educates more than 35,000 visitors annually. DLC’s highly successful conservation breeding program seeks to preserve vanishing species such as the aye-aye, Coquerel’s sifaka, and blue-eyed black lemur. Our Madagascar Conservation Programs study and protect lemurs (the most endangered mammals on Earth) in their native habitat. The Division of Fossil Primates examines primate extinction and evolution over time and houses over 35,000 fossils, including extinct giant lemurs and one of the world’s largest and most important collections of early anthropoid primates.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

DLC’s SAVA Conservation project is dedicated to preserving the natural biodiversity of Madagascar, especially its charismatic lemurs, by empowering local communities to be conservation leaders.

Collaboration with National Parks

Clear delineation of the park boundaries is essential to maintaining and monitoring the forest.

We’ve helped increase protection and monitoring of parks in Madagascar. For example at Marojejy, we have continued to sponsor clearing the park limits, painting trees, and hanging new signs for boundary demarcation, and a road-block barrier to prevent trucks from transporting precious wood out of the forest. We also help support monitoring work undertaken by village guards and park staff.

Manantenina near the Marojejy National Park lacks reliable sources of clean water because local sources are often contaminated with disease-causing microbes. We created a partnership agreement with the community to install a deep-water well that will maintain safe water even during the dry season.

Research

CURSA researchers and local forest managers in the COMATSA protected area of the SAVA region.

In collaboration with the local university (CURSA), we study lemur viability in protected areas in SAVA.

We have partnered with Malagasy PhD and Masters students on their thesis projects on the ecology and conservation of lemurs in the COMATSA, a corridor between Marojejy, Anjanaharibe-Sud, and Tsaratanana.

In addition to research in the forest on lemurs, the team conducts socio-ecological research with the communities. Through focus groups, key-informant interviews, and lemur awareness campaigns, the team is learning about how people use forest resources, especially the level of hunting.In collaboration with CURSA, we are studying the links between socioeconomics, agriculture, nutrition, and health.

Conservation Breeding Program

We maintain the world’s largest “genetic safety net” for endangered lemurs. At the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina, USA we’re proud to have celebrated more than 3,405 births through our conservation breeding program since our founding in 1966.

What Lemur Species We Protect

At Duke Lemur Center we house the following lemur species for breeding and non-invasive research:

  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata)
  • Blue-eyed Black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons)
  • Collared Lemur (Eulemur collaris)
  • Coquerel’s Sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)
  • Crowned Lemur (Eulemur coronatus)
  • Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur griseus)
  • Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus)
  • Mongoose Lemur (Eulemur mongoz)
  • Red-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer)
  • Red-fronted Lemur (Eulemur rufifrons)
  • Red Ruffed Lemur (Varecia rubra)
  • Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

We also support research focusing on the Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus) a highly endangered lemur found in the north east of Madagascar.

How We Support Local Communities

Our goals are preserving natural environments as well as increasing sustainability and resilience. We achieve these goals through activities centered on education, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, fuel-efficient stoves, women’s health, and much more.

Environmental education (EE)

Fostering a generation of environmental stewards begins in the school classroom with Madagascar’s youth, and incorporating the environment into daily classroom instruction can lead to a generation of Malagasy people interested in and equipped to protect their natural heritage.

Children proudly display their Lemur Appreciation certificates after a school visit in Manantenina

We introduced an environmental education training manual originally developed by the Madagascar Flora and Fauna Group and the Ministry of Education. In partnership with skilled Malagasy educators, the DLC has introduced and trained school officials on the implementation of the educational curriculum into daily lesson plans. This approach ensures that the environmental education program is widely adopted from all levels of the education system. We want to ensure that the information is presented in a standardized and culturally sensitive manner, and therefore more readily adopted by the teachers on a daily basis. In collaboration with the school districts of Sambava and Andapa, we’ve conducted workshops with over 2,000 teachers to train them to incorporate environmental education into daily lessons.

Landscape Restoration

DLC sponsored tree nursery with the local school at Belaoka-Marovato, Andapa district.

We maintain tree nurseries with communities to supply high quality seedlings of diverse trees including over a dozen native species, cash crops like coffee, cloves, and cacao, and over a dozen fruit species. As of the writing of this article, we partner with five communities to maintain tree nurseries and support their reforestation efforts. Each nursery produces approximately 25,000 seedlings per year, which are distributed to the community members to plant on their lands and during group planting events. Our staff provide consultation on proper planting techniques and follow up evaluations to determine seedling survival.

We are partnered with local collaborators to maintain and monitor 4 reforestation plantations throughout the SAVA region, with over 59,000 trees planted on 20 hectares in 2021.

CURSA Director, Dr. MANJARIBE Christophe (left) demonstrates proper tree planting techniques with staff and students at their demonstration agroforestry field station.

Information campaign and distribution of fuel-efficient ‘rocket’ stoves

More than 80% of people in Madagascar use firewood or charcoal to cook. We partner with the Swiss organization ADES, which produces fuel-efficient stoves in Madagascar that burn 1/3 the biomass of firewood or charcoal compared to traditional stoves. Between 2020 and 2021 alone, over 500 households received training and subsidized stoves. Stoves are sold during demonstrations, and through local entrepreneurs serving as distributors. We are evaluating participants, and found 100% of users are satisfied and save 25-50kg of charcoal on average per month.

Women’s reproductive health

We maintain collaboration with British NGO Marie Stopes International, to support nurses visiting remote villages and providing consultation and services on women’s health and reproduction.

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CPALI: Conservation through Poverty Alleviation International

CPALI logo.

Conservation through Poverty Alleviation International

What We Do

Conservation through Poverty Alleviation International (CPALI) is an international NGO dedicated to a community-centered approach to conservation. Instead of building boundaries, CPALI focuses on strengthening the existing relationship between people and the environment through the development of sustainable livelihoods.

CPALI helps impoverished communities farm and transform native resources to create sustainable enterprises that benefit both people and ecosystems. In Madagascar, the organization works hand-in-hand with SEPALI, an independently-registered Malagasy NGO (2009) in charge of program implementation.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

New cocoon.CPALI works in northeastern Madagascar along the borders of the largest remaining protected area in the country. There, CPALI works with a network of subsistence farmers to cultivate endemic resources and secure a market for their products. Thanks to CPALI’s work, farmers are now planting endemic trees in former clear-cut zones, intercropping trees with edible plants, raising native silkworms to produce silk, using insects as a protein source, and investigating the production of edible mushrooms. The result is a native ecosystem of production which contributes to forest buffer zones near the parks, supports rural farmers, and mitigates the need for bush meat and resource extraction.

Today, CPALI works with a rapidly growing network of farmers’ groups representing 13 communities and over 350 farmers. Together, their participants have planted over 30,000 native trees, raised their average annual household income by over 50%, and are gradually assuming management of the project. Ultimately, CPALI hopes to achieve a sustainable and independent farmer cooperative in Madagascar.

What Lemur Species We Protect

CPALI/SEPALI work to engage communities in the northeastern regions of Madagascar, especially in the perimeter areas surrounding the Makira Protected Area and the Masoala National Park. Some of the lemur species found in these areas, include:

  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra)
  • White-fronted brown lemurs (Eulemur albifrons)

How We Support Local Communities

Preparing tree nurseries.CPALI’s greatest strength is that it utilizes resources that are already present: endemic species, local leadership, and community networks. CPALI/SEPALI Malagasy staff manage on-the-ground projects and hire lead farmers in each community to serve as their local liaisons, trainers, and model farmers. These lead farmers, both men and women, are elected by their communities and are intimately involved in program direction, strategy, and implementation.

Prior to implementation, all CPALI/SEPALI projects are evaluated by the community members who would be engaged in the project if it were implemented. In addition, projects undergo scientific evaluation to examine how they will have an impact on the health of the protected area, soil quality, and recovered habitats. Together, these assessments help CPALI evaluate their successes, learn from their mistakes, and make adjustments in policy to better reach their goals.

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Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects logo.

Eden Reforestation Projects

What We Do

Eden Reforestation Projects’ mission is to alleviate extreme poverty through environmental stewardship. Every year Eden Reforestation Projects employs thousands of villagers in Madagascar, Ethiopia, Haiti, and Nepal to plant millions of native tree species resulting in the alleviation of extreme poverty and the restoration of healthy forest systems.

Eden Reforestation Projects has been working in Madagascar since 2007, and our efforts have resulted in the planting of over 77 million dry deciduous and mangrove trees in Madagascar alone. Eden Reforestation Projects is the largest reforestation group in Madagascar, and we aim to plant billions, yes billions, of trees in Madagascar in the next decade.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

common brown lemur

A common brown lemur.

Habitat destruction is one of the main threats to lemurs in Madagascar; some studies estimate that over 80% of vegetation in the country has been degraded or destroyed. At Eden Reforestation Projects we’re working to combat this: 77 million trees were planted across Madagascar between 2007 and 2014. The organization is focusing its reforestation efforts in Madagascar around eight western Malagasy villages. In addition, we partner with one national park (Ankarafantsika), one university (Mahajanga), and one hotel resort with a private forest reserve (Antsanitia).

Mangroves

At Eden we’ve been working to rehabilitate mangrove estuaries in Madagascar since 2007. These habitats are critical to overall ecosystem health (combating erosion and improving ocean health) and also provide habitat for several mouse lemur species. In addition, healthy mangrove forests are green pathways for larger lemur species to cross from one patch of dry deciduous forest to another. Through our clearance, propagule collecting and planting work Mahajanga now has a healthy mangrove forest.

Dry Deciduous Reforestation Projects

IMG_6940In 2012, we expanded our reforestation work to dry deciduous forests. The overwhelming majority of the tree species grown here are endemic to Madagascar’s western regions, and virtually all of the species grown are native and essential to lemur species that inhabit these forests. Our main lemur habitat partner is Ankarafantsika National Park, which has a full nursery operating within the confines of the National Park and is home to eight endangered lemur species.

Fire prevention

Fire is the primary threat to all reforestation efforts in Madagascar, so we protect our reforestation sites by surrounding them with fire breaks and by hiring emergency fire prevention crews.

What Lemur Species We Protect

With the dry deciduous reforestation project our work is helping protect species present at Ankarafantsika National Park, including:

  • Coquerel’s sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)
  • Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz)
  • Brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus)
  • Grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)
  • Golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis)
  • Fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Western woolly lemur (Avahi occidentalis)
  • Milne-Edwards’s sportive lemur (Lepilemur edwardsi)

How We Support Local Communities

IMG_6949Eden Reforestation Projects believes in holistic community development, including assisting with the construction of schools, fresh water wells, and some medical services. In addition, Eden Reforestation Projects partners with local communities to provide employment opportunities as tree planters and forest guards. These partnerships initially began with the “Employ to Plant” approach to habitat restoration, which pays thousands of people across multiple developing countries, including Madagascar, to plant trees.

Sustainability of programming

NCS_8591At Eden we take a diverse approach to sustainability, which begins with the establishment of legal agreements with the local, regional, and national government agencies that authorize the reforestation efforts and include preserving the restored forests in perpetuity. Further, Eden is partnered with Mahajanga University and has an agreement with the Ankarafantsika National Park, where we seek to educate the communities with the goal of preserving the forests and local lemur populations.

Fruit orchards and fuel-efficient stoves

We know that reforestation projects are only impactful if other programs are instituted to help the local communities refrain from cutting those new forests back down. Therefore, we have also planted fruit trees as well as trees that can be used in construction. These are beneficial to the local villagers and ensure that their physical and financial needs are accounted for. In addition, in each of the villages, fuel-efficient stoves and/or solar-stoves have been provided, which have largely led to a significant decrease in charcoal production and use in the areas Eden serves.

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Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP)

Madagascar Biodiversity Paternship log

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership

What We Do

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Dr. Louis, Shelia Holmes and Varecia_ HHamilton

Dr. Louis and Sheila Holmes collecting data from a lemur.

At Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP) we work with communities on comprehensive research and conservation programming.

MBP was founded in 2010 by Dr. Edward E. Louis Jr., Director of Conservation Genetics at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (OHDZA) who has been working in Madagascar since 1998. Here at MBP we strive to protect local forests for the lemurs while sustainably raising the standard of living for communities who are equally reliant upon the natural resources. Believing that everything is connected, or “Mampifandray ny tontolo”, MBP incorporates research, education and community involvement to achieve sustainability.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Research and Lemur Monitoring

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Baby Lepilemur septentrionalis_EE Louis Jr

A baby Lepilemur septentrionalis being examined.

At MBP we have pioneering research on the northern sportive lemurs, whose populations are incredibly small (less than 50 individuals remaining) and who cannot be kept in captivity. In addition, and together with the Malagasy government, we have helped re-establish the diademed sifaka and the black-and-white ruffed lemur to their historical ranges in the Analamazoatra Special Reserve.These populations are now monitored by our team year-round. Finally, we use radio collars and other innovative technology to track lemur populations; this helps increase understanding of how different species use different types of habitat and how conservation programs can effectively protect lemurs in the future.

Reforesting Habitat

We are proud to help lead reforestation efforts in Madagascar, and undertake programming in west (Andasibe, Kianjavato) and southern Madagascar (Lavavolo). We also undertake reforestation initiatives in the areas where it is working to distribute fuel-efficient cook stoves in northern Madagascar.

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Nore teaching planting techniques_HHamilton

Teaching planting techniques in rural Madagascar.

Our largest reforestation programming is based in Kianjavato and is called the Education Promoting Reforestation Project (EPRP). This program’s success is based on the fact that seeds which have passed through a lemur’s intestinal tract grow better than seeds that haven’t. By collecting the seeds in lemur poop, we’ve been able to plant over 6 million trees!

This program, and the associated community education and outreach efforts, have been so successful that they were featured on National Public Radio in the United States and in other media outlets worldwide.

What Lemur Species We Protect

MBP works across the country to support research and outreach related to several different lemur species, including:

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Prolemur simus eating bamboo_ BEnyart

Prolemur simus eating some bamboo.

  • Aye aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata)
  • Crowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus)
  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus
  • Northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis)
  • Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)

How We Support Local Communities

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Member of Single mothers Club planting trees_HHamilton

A member of Single Mothers Club planting trees.

Madagascar has a young and growing population that is increasingly reliant upon the country’s dwindling natural resources. Despite the precarious conditions, there is room for hope. The MBP has initiated multiple community-based conservation efforts and development plans designed to rebalance the relationship between people and the ecosystem; many of our community outreach efforts are conducted together with Conservation Fusion.

Fuel-efficient cook stoves

In partnership with the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and with Conservation Fusion, MBP is undertaking work to reduce the use of charcoal in some areas of Madagascar. Charcoal production, which causes large areas of forest to be cut down in Madagascar and is often unsustainable, is a big threat to lemur populations. We have distributed over 100 fuel-efficient cooking stoves and supplements these with hands-on education programs and reforestation initiatives.

Aquaponics development

Aquaponics is a sustainable food production method that combines techniques used to raise fish for food and hydroponics methods for growing plants in liquid mediums. Properly balanced aquaponics systems can provide large amounts of food, which is important in areas of Madagascar where families are food insecure, meaning, in areas where families do not have access to the food that they need, when they need it. We’ve partnered with a Omaha-based aquaponics nonprofit to undertake pilot programs which will help fine-tune the implementation of this type of equipment on-the-ground in Madagascar.

Capacity building

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership EPP Kianjavato students with trees_HHamilton

Students from the Kianjavato public school students with trees.

As part of our ongoing research programs, over 50 Malagasy doctorate and graduate students, 30 Malagasy undergraduate students, and 10 international students have received considerable training in research methods and conservation paradigms. For example, through the MBP’s role in helping to re-establish lemur populations in the Analamazoatra Special Reserve, students and local communities have received training on how to monitor these new populations and how re-establishment programs must be designed in order to be successful.

In addition, we support 80+ full-time Malagasy employees as field assistants, project supervisors, office employees, and supporting staff members.

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