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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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Impact Madagascar

What We Do

At IMPACT Madagascar we believe it’s not possible to protect the environment without also considering the people who depend on its resources on a daily basis. Since 2013 we’ve been working with local communities to alleviate poverty and provide achievable and sustainable environmental protection through a variety of projects.

We focus our work on five project sites, in five different locations: Ankirihitra (region Boeny), Madiromirafy (region Betsiboka), Mahajeby (region Bongolava), Dabolava (region Menabe), and Vohitrarivo (region V7V). Each of these rural sites is unique in their biodiversity and communities, but across these locations, our projects hold similar objectives. These include reforestation and ecological restoration, lemur and habitat monitoring, environmental outreach and practical environmental education, community development, community health, and community conservation.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Lemur and habitat monitoring

Our lemur and habitat monitoring includes periodic inventories of diurnal and nocturnal lemur populations located at our project sites. These focus mostly on the mongoose lemur and crowned sifaka (though the surveys are inclusive of all lemurs in the area).

The Sifaka Conservation program aims to save the fragmented forests across the four locations (along the central highlands and northwestern areas), in order to protect crowned sifaka populations and the remaining rare dry and gallery forests. Additionally, our team identifies and monitors the pressures and threats these lemur populations and their habitats face. With identification at each site, we can develop better strategies to combat these harmful actions and to prevent future destruction.

Reforestation

Our activities focused on forest restoration include large-scale community reforestation events. During these events, community members come together and plant native forest and fast-growing tree species in the area. The saplings that are planted are produced by the communities themselves in tree nurseries on site.

Conservation Education

Our conservation education projects constitute an important strategy to address threats to biodiversity and to ensure community participation and the sustainability of conservation actions. This environmental outreach includes awareness campaigns at both school and household levels. Additionally, information sessions take place through multimedia presentations and focus on the fundamental roles of the forest, the causes of destruction and their impact on human life, biodiversity and conservation, environmental laws, the food web, wildlife, and its ecological role, and ecosystem services.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Our conservation work currently focuses primarily on the Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz) and Crowned Sifaka (Propithecus coronatus), two critically endangered species present at our sites.

How We Support Local Communities

Community Development

To help improve the living conditions of the local population in conservation areas, we have many community development projects that aim to promote income-generating activities within these communities.

We work with the local people in order to increase their farming yield and agricultural production by monitoring and providing practical training in the use of modern farming techniques and improved livestock breeding programs, as well as promoting other alternative sources of income. In addition, we also encourage the production and sale of local produce to boost income within communities. As well as providing a more secure and sustainable future, this approach helps to reduce damage to biodiversity and forests from other farming methods.

Conservation education

Conservation education projects include practical activities such as healthy living, water purification, waste management, and how to recycle various types of waste. This aims to improve health and sustainability.

Establishment and support of VOIs

At each of our conservation sites, we have established local management committees, called VOIs. These committees help to manage the forests, and patrols are run by local people to monitor threats such as illegal logging and poaching, while simultaneously engaging local people in the protection of their forests.

Community Health

Additionally, we work to provide community health initiatives to these rural communities and offer them resources and care they do not otherwise have access to. These activities vary across sites and include medical missions in collaboration with health organizations to provide treatment and medical care, sexual and reproductive health education, and raising awareness about the importance of hygiene and water purification.

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Man and the Environment: Net Positive Impact Program

The main objective of Man and the Environment’s Net Positive Impact program is to ensure long-term forest and lemur conservation — and biodiversity conservation in general — through the involvement of local communities in management programs and economic activities in favor of the environment.

Net Positive Impact is a program of the Non-Governmental Organization Man and the Environment, a French organization that works in East and Northwest Madagascar.

What lemur species does Net Positive Impact protect?

Varecia Variegata from the Vohimana forest.

Net Positive Impact operates in three locations.

The Vohimana forest in the Mantadia – Zahamena:

  • Indri indri
  • Propithecus diadema
  • Varecia variegata
  • Hapalemur griseus
  • Eulemur rubriventer
  • Eulemur fulvus
  • Microcebus lehilahytsara
  • Avahi laniger
  • lepilemur mustelinus
  • Cheirogaleus major
  • Daubentonia madagascariensis
  • Allocebus trichotis
  • Microcebus rufus

Indri Indri from the Vohimana forest

The Tsaramandroso community forest in the buffer zone of the Ankarafantsika National Park:

  • Propithecus coquereli
  • Lepilemur edwardsi
  • Avahi occidentalis
  • Microcebus ravelobensis
  • Eulemur mongoz
  • Microcebus murinus
  • Cheirogaleus medius
  • Eulemur fulvus

The Ambalakalanoro forest in the north-west coast: 

  • Propithecus verreauxi coquereli
  • Eulemur fulvus fulvus
  • Microcebus murinus
  • Cheirogaleus medius
  • Eulemur mongoz
  • Hapalemur griseus occidentalis
  • Phaner furcifer
  • Avali occidentalis
  • Lepilemur edwarsi

How does Net Positive Impact work for lemur conservation?

Habitat protection

As lemurs cannot survive when their natural habitat is in danger, Net Positive Impact works for habitat preservation and environmental conservation in the Vohimana, in the Tsaramandroso and the Ambalakalanoro forests by developing environmental programs. Our main actions are to make these sites “protected areas” to ensure their survival. We also monitor species registration, study their long-term acclimatization and take actions to promote their development in the zone, like reforestation and agro-forestry.

Eco-tourism

An infrastructure to develop ecotourism has been constructed in the Vohimana Forest, in order to raise awareness of locals and visitors about the site’s biodiversity. Visitors are encouraged to participate in monitoring species.

Learn more about Vohimina

Environmental policy

Promote approaches targeting sustainable lemur conservation through the design of management plans including local communities’ development and private sector involvement.

Key Projects in Madagascar

The Vohimana Project

The main objective is protecting the forest and wildlife by giving local populations lasting sources of income based on a management plan ensuring sustainable agriculture and conservation areas.

Net Positive Impact believes that no sustainable and lasting wildlife-saving orientated project can be achieved if local communities remain impoverished, as practices endangering forests and wildlife are the ones that often make locals survive.

Thus, Net Positive Impact started a global program comprising forest and wildlife protection and local communities living conditions improvement.

The Vohimana protected area project started in 2002 with the signature of an agreement transferring the management responsibility of the forest from the government to the NGO Man and the Environment for a renewable period of 25 years. The first step was to define the management plan, design the area for conservation and sustainable development purposes, and organize income generating activities for local communities and social improvement.

Eulemur Rubriventer from the Vohimana forest

The Vohimana project has four principal steps:

1. Securing the Vohimana forest for long-term conservation.

In the 2000’s, the Vohimana forest almost disappeared because of fires and burn-and-slash agriculture. To preserve this fragile ecosystem, the lemurs and other species living in it, the first capital step was to secure the forest.

Notable successes:

  • Man and the Environment was able to transform the Vohimana forest into a protected area in 2002, and it slowed down these dangerous practices. Research institutions (CIRAD) showed that forest cover loss was between 2002 and 2014 less important in Vohimana than the average in the national parks.
  • A local control forest committee has been organized with the aim to prevent traffic and fires.
  • A partnership has been made between biologists and universities, which allowed the beginning of an annual presence of scientists to launch a sustainable and regularly updated species’ population follow-up.

2. Ecotourism as a conservation tool.

The objective is to raise awareness about environment protection and to create a sustainable income source for the locals working on the project. Man and the Environment constructed an eco-shelter to welcome tourists and to secure the forest. In 2017, the infrastructure had been partly destructed by a cyclone.

Notable successes:

  • A basic infrastructure has been built and welcomed visitors on site for many years. Incomes were managed by a local association ran by people from the area who are the beneficiaries as well as guides.
  • A students & volunteers program has been put in place to train students in species monitoring and agroforestry management. Their presence in remote areas of the forest discourages risks of potential trafficking.

3. Sustainable agriculture productivity improvement.

The objective is to support environment-friendly agriculture to prevent slash-and-burn farming or other practices jeopardizing biodiversity. Net positive Impact started a program of ginger cultivation with 120 villagers around the forest. Likewise, a distillery of essential oil has been constructed and is managed by local workers. Ginger seeds have been given to selected farmers but follow-up training should be carried out. Malagasy firms will buy the production.

Notable successes:

  • The former traditional practices were participating in the destruction of the forest. Slash-and-burn cultures, as well as charcoal production, are the most dangerous threats to the forest and the wildlife it shelters. Net Positive Impact managed to launch environmental-friendly agriculture practices. It is now clear that other incomes-generating activities linked to sustainable natural resources’ use could be promoted to support conservation.

4. Social support.

The incomes generated from visitors of the ecotourism infrastructure will be redistributed to the school and the health center the NGO Man and the Environment constructed in a village near Vohimana, Ambavaniasy. The objective is double. First, to contribute to improve the living conditions of the locals, enhance education access and reduce risks of disease. Second, the forest can be seen as a potential source of living conditions improvement, encouraging villagers to protect it and thus the species living in it.

Notable successes:

  • A health center has been built on site and donors found to ensure the salary of the mid wife/nurse. – A primary school has been built on site to allow local access to education. 250 children can go
    to class.
  • A local association has been supported to regroup farmers for eucalyptus firewood forest management (preventing natural forest charcoal production), forestry seedlings production, ecotourism management, forestry control organization and essential oil production.

The Ambalakalanoro project

This projects aims to secure the Ambalakalanoro forest for long term conservation, in order to prevent possible fires or cuts in the forest and allow tourists to visit the site. The Ambalakalanoro forest is now the last shelter of those animals that managed to escape the recurrent fires. Its size is reduced to only 65 hectares, and therefore can be compared more to a private park with exceptional fauna and flora than to a state protected area. The Ambalakalanoro project was launched in 2010.

Notable successes:

  • The natural circus surrounding the forest and protecting the area has been secured.
  • Rare species have been observed, including the fossa, confirming the great biological interest of this tiny remaining forest.
  • Due to the loss of its habitat, the wildlife has no choice but to find shelter in this forest. As a result, the number of lemurs has increased: 66 sifakas now live in the forest.

Propithecus verreauxi coquereli from the Tsaramandroso and Ambalakalanoro forests

The Tsaramandroso project

The forest is located near Ankarafantsika national park. It is under great pressure of deforestation, jeopardizing the wildlife it shelters. The goal of the project is to secure the forest and its wildlife by supporting local communities in preventing slash-and-burn farming or other practices jeopardizing biodiversity. The project was launched in 2015. To do so, Net Positive Impact started a program of a sustainable collection of Saro leaves on site and other aromatic plants. Net Positive Impact also constructed a distillery of essential oils, managed by local farmers.

Notable successes:

  • The distillery employs 12 people. Farmers are motivated to prevent slash-and-burn agriculture and outsiders coming into the forest to over-harvest it.

Community Partnerships and Sustainability

Net Positive Impact partners with local organizations to ensure projects’ sustainability and local involvement.

For the Vohimana project, the local partners are different local associations, Mercie Vohimana, Manarapenitra, Zanatany, each specialized in a field.

For the Ambalakalanoro project, the local partner is the local district.

For the Tsaramandroso project, the local partners are VOI Mamelonarivo and CIRAD.

Donations Are Needed to Support These Projects in Madagascar

Vohimana Project

Donations are need to secure the Vohimana forest for long-term conservation.

Transforming the 25 years management plan agreement into a purchase of a 99-year lease of the forest.
Estimated budget to buy the 560 hectares of  forest: 250 000€

Recently, the government of Madagascar decided to sell the forest and the neighboring lands. The sale will happen at the expense of the local populations, despite their involvement in developing agro-forestry cultures respecting a long-term forest conservation plan. As a result, the risk is that individuals or companies will be able to legally destroy the forest or adopt environmentally destructive activities. Moreover, farmers will lose their lands and those who until now were using sustainable agriculture methods protecting the forest will have no choice but to go back to environment-damaging methods, as slash-and-burn culture. A solution is that Man and the Environment finances the purchase of the forest by obtaining a long-term lease of 99-year between the NGO and the State of Madagascar. Thus, the NGO would ensure the protection of the forest and its species.

Equipment of the forest patrols.
Estimated budget: 5 000€
The patrols cannot be efficient in preventing fires and wood trafficking if the proper equipment is lacking.

Employing one biologist and logistician on the field to organize the stays of biologists and the lemurs, frogs, rare plants (and other species) follow-up.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Net positive Impact organizes lemur population monitoring. The objective is to achieve a serious database on the evolution of these populations and raise awareness of visitors, who are invited to participate in the data collection.

Securing the land for sustainable agroforestry farming and ensuring training of local farmers.
Estimated budget: 100 000€
The neighboring lands will be sold by the Malagasy government. The risk is that lands may be bought by individuals or firms that do not respect the environment and endanger the wildlife. The NGO can buy the lands and redistribute them to local farmers which agreed to an environment-friendly agriculture.

Ecotourism as a conservation tool.

Improve ecotourism infrastructure.
Estimated budget: 56 000€
Due to the cyclone, the ecotourism infrastructure cannot be functional. To be able to welcome visitors again and generate income, the infrastructure needs to be rebuilt.

Sustainable agriculture productivity improvement.
Estimated budge: 8 000€
Ginger production has been promoted, offering great opportunities to local farmers. Different plants of economic interest have been identified and are now promoted. Local farmers will be trained in improved sustainable practices.

Continue production and training for essential oils.
Estimated budget: 15 000€
A first production unit of essential oil has been provided and local community trained to process local plants for which sustainable markets have been found. Leaves from the forest are being sustainably used for production. Two new stills will be added to increase the production of essential oil, following demand.

Training in sustainable agriculture.
Estimated budget: 4 000€
Training sessions have been started to promote sustainable agriculture in place of slash-and-burn agriculture and farmers started to show interest for more training. Man and the Environment technicians will provide more training sessions on sustainable agriculture.

Social support.
Estimated budget: 3000€
For the health center to become functional, a mid-wife and a nurse need to be employed full-time and health supplies need to be bought, before the added value from the essential oil production allows paying these costs.

Education.
Estimated budget: 20 000€
The villagers approved the primary school the NGO constructed, and now ask for four classrooms for kids from 11 to 15 years old.

Training in Management and Accounting.
Estimated budget: 3000€
The local association is functioning but needs to be trained in management and accounting.

Training in Medicinal Plants.
Estimated budget: 8 000€
Promotion of a proper use of safe and efficient local medicinal plants.

The Ambalakalanoro Project

Secure Forest.
Estimated budget: 70 000€
It is important to secure the forest and its surroundings to ensure conservation by obtaining a long-term lease of 99 years for the forest itself.

Research.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Organize studies of fauna, its long-term acclimatization and understand the actions necessary to promote its development in the zone.

Raise Awareness.
Estimated budget: 5 000€
Communicate about the site in order to draw national and international interest to conservation.

Promote Ecotourism.
Estimated budget: 5 000€

Promote hotel facilities development on the surrounding areas, companies that will have long-term interest to preserve an appealing environment for patrons and to involve local population in environmental protection.

The Tsaramandroso Project

Distillery.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Install a new professional distillery on site.

Medicine Plants.
Estimated budget: 5 000€

Identify and standardize medicinal and aromatic plants of immediate commercial interest for local populations.

Donate

  • Net Positive Impact accepts online donations on its website.
  • MATE can ensure that donations from the Lemur Conservation Network go directly to lemur and environmental programs.

Learn More

 

 

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WWF Madagascar

WWF The Panda logo

WWF Madagascar has been paving the way for lemur conservation in Madagascar for over half a century.

Supporting lemur conservation since 1964 with on-the-ground work in Madagascar

WWF Madagascar has been at the forefront of lemur conservation in Madagascar for over fifty years. Their first ever project involved setting up a small reserve dedicated to the protection and prosperity of the Aye-aye, leading to the creation of the Nosy Mangabe special reserve. Since then, lemurs have remained some the organization’s priority species at their project sites across the island.

What lemur species does WWF Madagascar protect?

WWF daubentonia madagascariensis

An Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

Over the years, WWF Madagascar has been key to the protection of many different lemur species. Nowadays – and alongside ongoing projects to protect numerous lemur species – WWF’s strategy (Fiscal years 2012 to 2016) identifies the Silky simpona (Propithecus candidus) as one of their flagship species for the Northern Forest Landscape, the largest remaining stand of humid forest in Madagascar. In 2011, WWF – in collaboration with Dr. Erik Patel (now at the Lemur Conservation Foundation), and international expert on the Silky simpona – conducted a vulnerability analysis on this species; the first of its kind.

This groundbreaking research – which helps conservationists understand more about the different threats facing a species – was expanded in 2012 in collaboration with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and again in 2014 with the help of GERP. This research now helps scientists and organizations better plan their conservation programs.

WWF Madagascar is currently performing fieldwork to collect vulnerability data and information on species viability. This project began in December 2014 and will be followed by updates of the Vulnerability Analysis (VA) until the end of 2017. The aim is to understand the factors that render the Silky simpona vulnerable in order to start implementing adapted management measures that will help the species to face future climate and non-climate pressures.

How is WWF Madagascar protecting habitat for lemur conservation?

WWF Verreuaxi Viktor Nikkiforov

Verreaux’s Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi).

WWF has been, and continues to be involved in, the establishment and management of many protected areas across Madagascar, which serve to conserve and protect threatened habitats for many lemur species as well as a wide variety of other flora and fauna. In addition, WWF Madagascar carries out a range of actions in Madagascar aimed at protecting habitat. For example, in the Northern Forest Landscape, WWF trains and equips local communities to perform forest patrols. One of the functions of the patrols is to collect information on species locations and populations. Both the presence of the patrols and the data they collect are being used to combat poaching of lemurs and other animal species.

WWF are currently working on habitat protection issues across Madagascar in many sites, including: Marojejy, Kirindy Mitea, Tsimanampesotoe, Amoron’i Onilahy, Ankodida, Corridor Marojejy Tsaratanana, Anjanaharibe Sud, Nord Ifotaka, and Ranobe PK 32.

Influencing environmental policy to help lemurs

WWF Photo2_catégorie1_Ichiyama_ANTANANARIVOWWF Madagascar, and WWF as a whole, are able to raise awareness of the threats facing lemurs at the national and international level. An example of the positive impacts of their work include WWF’s debt-for-nature concept, which pioneered the idea that a nation’s debt could be bought in exchange for in-country conservation programming. WWF has used this program to generate over $50 million (USD) of funding in Madagascar for conservation from 1989 to 2008. In addition, WWF Madagascar was a key facilitator in the First International Conference on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in Madagascar; this meeting was the foundation of the National Environmental Action Plan that was later implemented in Madagascar in the 1980s.

Partnering with local communities

WWF puts local communities at the center of their conservation projects. Local communities that live closest to valuable, fragile lemur habitats are pivotal to the success of lemur conservation because they are the ones interacting with, living in and depending on the forests and species on a daily basis.

WWF Team_Anadapa(Halleux)

WWF Madagascar’s team working in Andapa.

WWF manages a wide array of social development programming; in the past, the organization has developing eco-tourism projects, designed public health programs, and even worked with the Malagasy government to create eco-labels for Malagasy shrimp which are traded on the international market through the shrimp aquaculture industry.

Local conservation management

In the Northern Forest Landscape, a green belt composed of 39 community-based managed areas is currently being established around the newly created protected area of COMATSA (245,000 ha). Each area managed by local communities first undergoes a zoning process and then local management plans are developed. As the Silky simpona is a flagship species for the entire area, activities related to its conservation and resilience building will be developed for the protected areas as well as for all the community-managed areas where the species is present.

Environmental education

Since 1987, WWF Madagascar has been growing its environmental education program, in collaboration with the Malagasy Ministry of Education. The program now has 515 student clubs across 46 districts in Madagascar and impacts over 50,000 students in the country. In addition, the program also prints the Vintsy Magazine – an environmentally focused publication – which has been in print for 64 issues.

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Centre ValBio & the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments

What We Do

Centre Valbio Ewing People Outside (1)

The Centre ValBio – a cutting-edge research station in Madagascar.

The Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE) was established by Dr. Patricia Wright in 1991 to encourage and promote scientific research, training and conservation in the tropics. We (together with Stony Brook University) maintain a state-of-the-art research station, Centre ValBio, adjacent to Ranomafana National Park in eastern Madagascar. This research station hosts hundreds of researchers, students, and eco-tourists each year; it is truly the only facility of its kind in the country.

Centre ValBio (CVB) was founded in 2003 and helps both indigenous people and the international community better understand the value of conservation in Madagascar and around the world.

Centre Valbio has three main objectives:

  1. To promote world-class research in one of the world’s most biologically diverse and unique ecosystems
  2. To encourage environmental conservation by developing ecologically sustainable economic development programs with local villages
  3. To provide the local villagers with the knowledge and tools to improve their quality of life through projects focused on sanitation, diet, and education, and ultimately reduce poverty in the area

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Centre valbio wildlife

Wildlife in the Ranomafana National Park.

The Ranomafana National Park – which protects 41,500 hectares of rainforest – was created with the help of Dr. Patricia Wright, the founder of ICTE and Centre Valbio. Since the creation of this park, the organization has continued to help bring attention to the plight of lemurs and biodiversity in Madagascar at the regional, national, and international level.

Long-term research programs are a big priority for ICTE. We train scientists at all levels through field-based courses, collaborations, and academic exchanges. More than 400 scientific publications have directly resulted from work conducted in partnership with the Centre ValBio. In addition, we also conduct biodiversity research and ecological assessments of tropical ecosystems, and coordinate and catalog the work of over 800 natural and social scientists!

Successes at Centre ValBio include the translocation of three Greater bamboo lemur from a forest fragment to the national park, as well as the discovery of a thriving group in a nearby region!

What Lemur Species We Protect

The work of ICTE/Centre Valbio places particular emphasis on the region surrounding the Ranomafana National Park, in eastern Madagascar. This park is host to several lemur species, including:

  • Aye aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus)
  • Eastern wooly lemur (Avahi laniger)
  • Golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Milne-Edwards’ sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi)

How We Support Local Communities

Centre Valbio conservation programs

Centre ValBio’s conservation programs have also included reforestation and education initiatives.

One of the central missions of ICTE/Centre Valbio has been collaboration and partnerships with the local Malagasy community. We employ over 80 local Malagasy as guides and staff for the research station, and opened up opportunities for work in the park and surrounding areas. In addition to providing sustainable employment, Centre Valbio organizes multiple outreach programs in the fields of education, the arts, sustainable agriculture, and reforestation.

Conservation outreach

Centre ValBio leads outreach and public awareness programs that highlight the unique biodiversity of Madagascar; most of this is achieved through 15 conservation clubs spread across 22 villages that contain almost 500 members. Audiovisual and hands-on demonstrations are also used to deliver education on biodiversity and reforestation in 19 local schools. Centre ValBio and ICTE also support a range of education initiatives in the Ranomafana region.

Centre ValBio donates food to local community

Centre ValBio donates food to local community thanks to the help of an emergency fund.

Reforestation program

Centre ValBio undertakes educational outreach aimed at teaching the value of trees, not just for animals, but for clean water and erosion control as well. Reforestation initiatives have also targeted schools through their “from schools to the communities programs”, which has worked with 22 villages and 15 clubs on reforestation initiatives.

Health and hygiene

At Centre Valbio we work to improve the local communities’ nutritional conditions through education, implementation of infrastructure, and follow-up on improved sanitary practices. For example, we provide seeds and training for vegetable gardens to improve nutritional conditions in impoverished rural communities.

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Duke Lemur Center

Duke Lemur Center logo.

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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Sadabe

Sadabe logo.

Sadabe

What We Do

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt Sadabe we seek to develop novel and innovative ways to promote the coexistence of people and wildlife in Tsinjoarivo (central Madagascar), and elsewhere where humans and wildlife come into conflict. Sadabe, is the local name for the diademed sifaka, and it literally means “multicolored” and “big”. The organisation is as colorful as the lemur after which is it named.

Registered in 2009 as a Malagasy nonprofit, we were founded with several unique but synergistic guiding activities (research, education, conservation, and development). Nowadays, we are continuing to grow and work on the principle that conservation only works if you include the will and needs of local people, and deeply understand the ecosystem that you are trying to protect.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFunded by Funded by Conservation International, we founded the Mahatsinjo Reforestation Initiative starting in 2005. In collaboration with local government agencies and communities, we identified 12 areas that would be suitable for reforestation efforts. As a result of this project, over 55,000 trees were planted, more than 40 individuals were given part-time employment, and 7 habitat corridors were created which aimed to connect different forest patches with each other. These corridors now help lemurs and other animals to travel between the forest patches and increase their ability to resist the negative impacts of local agriculture and other threats.

IMG_0930What Lemur Species We Protect

We’ve been undertaking extensive research programming since 2000 in the Mahatsinjo region on the following species:

  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus)
  • Dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus sp.)

How We Support Local Communities

Throughout our research and programming, we have aimed to solve problems by consensus, with strong voices from Malagasy scientists, government officials, our employees, and community members at many levels.

For example, we work in concert with local communities in central Madagascar (Tsinjoarivo) and also partners with two local organizations: Maitsoanala (a research and tourism guides’ association) and Taratra Reny sy Zaza (an association of midwives and women focusing on women’s and children’s health). Sustainability is a key pillar of all past and planned activities.

DSC02632Social development

As part of Sadabe’s ongoing commitment to social development, we have worked on both education and healthcare programming. We facilitated the donation and staffing of an elementary school near our study site (in Mahatsinjo); this school was the first public school in the area and increased the likelihood that students would be able to receive a minimum level of education. The organization continues to undertake several outreach and educational activities in this and other communities that have reached thousands of individuals, including an English-language program and t-shirt giveaways. Some of Sadabe’s education programming was conducted in partnership with the Madagascar Ankizy Fund.

In regards to healthcare development, Sadabe facilitated (in partnership with the Madagascar Ankizy Fund) the provision of dental care services to hundreds of individuals. Without these services, these communities would have had to travel over 75 kilometers just to visit a dentist.

Capacity Building

We provide training for both foreign and Malagasy university students. This helps build capacity in the next generation of scientists, and allows them to get an up-close and in-person look at what is takes to research and conserve endangered lemur species. In addition, we have worked with local communities to teach them English and French and help them learn how to become tourism guides.

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SEED Madagascar

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SEED Madagascar

What We Do

SEED Madagascar's Conservation Programme team.

SEED Madagascar’s Conservation Programme team.

The work we do is focused on conservation research and social development. Our mission is to alleviate poverty and conserve the unique, biologically rich, and greatly endangered forest environments in southeast Madagascar. We help to empower the region’s poorest people to establish sustainable livelihoods for themselves and improve their well being.

SEED Madagascar’s Conservation Program implements a broad range of lemur projects that conserve the lemurs of Sainte Luce and ensure their long-term survival within their natural habitat.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Conducting Research to Preserve Sainte Luce Habitat

The littoral forests of Sainte Luce have been declared a conservation priority within a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot, making conservation here essential. Additionally, this habitat has been earmarked for future mining projects which may threaten the lemur populations, as well as other unique wildlife in the region. SEED Madagascar has been researching the lemurs, bats, amphibians and reptiles, as well as plants, restricted to the littoral forest fragments of Sainte Luce.

Our research estimates the population densities of the impacted species and calculates whether remaining habitats will be enough to support these populations. SEED Madagascar publishes research which directly contributes to wildlife conservation projects in the area.

Nocturnal Lemur Research

Our current focus is monitoring the population size and distribution of the three nocturnal lemur species found in Sainte Luce, Microcebus tanosi (Anosy mouse lemur), Cheirogaleus medius (Fat-tailed dwarf lemur) and Avahi meridionalis (Southern woolly lemur). All three species are now classified as Endangered by the IUCN, and as such more research is urgently needed. The SEED Conservation Research Programme is also working with the Project Ala team which has been set up to establish biodiversity corridors between the forest fragments of Sainte Luce, and which will help to protect these species from further decline.

What Lemur Species We Protect

SEED Madagascar’s research programs protect several lemur species found in the region:
Collared brown lemur (Eulemur collaris).

  • Collared brown lemur (Eulemur collaris)
  • Anosy mouse lemur (Microcebus tanosi)
  • Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Southern woolly lemur (Avahi meridionalis)

How We Support Local Communities

Conservation education with children.The work we do involves communities at every stage of project development, implementation, and evaluation. This makes projects more sustainable and promotes local ownership.

The SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme has had a permanent base in the community of Sainte Luce (southeast Madagascar) for more than five years. Through this relationship, SEED Madagascar draws on the knowledge of the community and uses guides trained by the forest management committee. In return, the programme provides training in ecology, conservation and the English language for local Malagasy, and runs a highly successful Saturday conservation club. Additionally, this volunteer program brings tourists (and the associated income and awareness) to the village.

Sustainable Livelihoods

We believe that conservation and supporting the local livelihoods of the communities of southeast Madagascar must go hand in hand. Many people in this region depend on natural resources from the forests and seas. We are working to support the transition to sustainable income sources through the following projects:

Project Mahampy – Helps women who work as traditional weavers to increase their income, and contributes scientific studies to enable the management of healthy Mahampy reedbeds for long term income generation.

Stitch Sainte Luce – Helps women who work in embroidery to run a sustainable co-operative, providing business training, and marketing and international sales support.

Oratsimba – Works to strengthen community-based, sustainable fisheries management and the economic resilience of fishing households in southeast Madagascar.

Renitantely – Works to improve the sustainability and viability of beekeeping as a livelihood amongst rural communities in the Anosy region.

Community Health

For over 15 years, SEED Madagascar has been working the improve public health in southeast Madagascar. Our current projects aim to:

  • Improve sanitation in Sainte Luce, including the WASH programs in local schools
  • Increase maternal and child health
  • Support water security and livelihoods programs
  • Increase awareness of sexual health and access to family planning materials

Education

Conservation education with children.

Conservation education with children.

In the Anosy region half of all children have never been to primary school, due to a lack of educational infrastructure and teachers. Our education projects help to tackle the shortfall by building new schools, repairing existing buildings, providing furniture and facilities to schools which don’t have enough, and supporting teachers to teach.

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