Top Nav

Archive | Alternative Livelihoods

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

TDARFAC Logo

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.

Continue Reading

Wildlife Madagascar

Wildlife Madagascar

Supporting Member of the Lemur Conservation Network

What We Do

Wildlife Madagascar is committed to safeguarding biodiversity through habitat protection via management, patrolling and monitoring; developing local sustainable livelihood opportunities and improving food security; and developing ecotourism capacity. Only by bringing local knowledge, practicality, and priorities together with a focused scientific and educational effort will we be successful in protecting Madagascar’s breath-taking biodiversity.

How We Protect Lemurs and Other Wildlife

Indri. Photo: Lytah Razafimahefa.

Forest habitats and wildlife can only be effectively protected if the pressures of human encroachment can be alleviated. We use an integrated conservation and human-development approach to reduce pressure on Madagascar’s globally important forests and wildlife populations. We protect the habitat and provide surrounding communities with sustainable livelihoods and services.

Patrolling and Monitoring the Forest

We provide protection of forest habitats through patrolling and monitoring, training, and border demarcation and enforcement.

Strengthening Communities

While habitat protection is key, working with local communities is integral to success. We aim to increase food security and income generation for local farmers through participatory, sustainable agricultural development and researching the most effective crops and livestock. We aim to strengthen the capacity of local community-based organizations and farmer leaders to facilitate community-based learning for agriculture and livelihood development. We seek to develop alternative livelihoods for community members through ecotourism and other initiatives. We provide support and supplementary education to ensure that children attend and complete primary school and become participants in appreciating and protecting their native wildlife.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Northern Bamboo Lemur. Photo: Lytah Razafimahefa.

The programs implemented by Wildlife Madagascar help protect the following species:

  • Indri (Indri indri)
  • Silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus)
  • White-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur albifrons)
  • Red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer)
  • Northern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur occidentalis)
  • Eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger)
  • Seal’s sportive lemur (Lepilemur seali)
  • Goodman’s mouse lemur (Microcebus lehilahytsara)
  • Greater dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus major)
  • Hairy-eared dwarf lemur (Allocebus trichotis)
  • Masoala fork-marked lemur (Phaner furcifer)
  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)

More Animals that Benefit from Our Work

  • Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox)
  • Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana)
  • Broad-striped mongoose (Galidictis fasciata)
  • Helmet vanga (Euryceros prevostii)
  • Mossy leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus sikorae)

How We Support Local Communities

Wildlife Madagascar’s programs target areas adjacent to forest where local communities currently rely on income from logging, poaching, farming, and other extractive practices. Improving farming methods to achieve greater food security will reduce reliance upon forest exploitation and encourage use of alternative food sources. Through experimental learning and action methods, the initial aim of Wildlife Madagascar is to increase yields by exploring sustainable agriculture techniques.

Continue Reading

Ary Saina

Ary Saina

What We Do

Ary Saina is a group of Malagasy conservation biologists promoting scientific research and knowledge for the conservation of Madagascar’s unique but imperiled biodiversity.

​Ary Saina was founded in 2017 with the following objectives:

  • Promote and facilitate scientific research in Madagascar
  • Contribute to the capacity building of Malagasy in science
  • Conduct scientific research to enhance biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in Madagascar

 

Ary Saina Study Sites by Angelo Andrianiaina

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We lead and participate in several projects related to lemur conservation in Madagascar. Most of our members conduct research on lemur biology and ecology to help conserve lemurs in their natural sites.

The socio-economic development activities we plan to implement to improve livelihoods aim to reduce threats on lemur habitat.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Current projects are conducted in two rainforest sites: (1) in the eastern fragmented forest of Ihofa with a focus on an assemblage of different species lemurs, including the critically threatened indri (Indri indri) and black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata); and (2) in the southeastern forest of Ranomafana National Park with a focus on both large-bodied diurnal lemurs like the red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer) and small-bodied nocturnal lemurs like the brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus).

 

How We Support Local Communities

Our current focus is in supporting the local communities living near Ihofa forest in Andasibe. We implement socio-economic development activities to improve their livelihoods. We are in need of funding to support the building of an elementary school in the area. We currently teach children local to our field sites (who often have no opportunity to attend school, with the closest being 8 hours walk away) skills such as writing and counting. We also deliver skills training to empower Malagasy scientists to build a career.

Continue Reading

Impact Madagascar

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Man and the Environment: Net Positive Impact Program

Man and the Environment’s Net Positive Impact program

What We Do

The main objective of Man and the Environment’s Net Positive Impact program is to ensure long-term forest and lemur conservation, as well as overall biodiversity conservation, through the involvement of local communities. This includes management programs and economic activities in support of the environment.

Net Positive Impact is a program of the Non-Governmental Organization Man and the Environment. We are a French organization working in East and Northwest Madagascar.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Habitat Protection

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

Ecotourism

Infrastructure to develop ecotourism has been constructed in the Vohimana Forest. The goal is to raise awareness among visitors and the Malagasy community about the site’s biodiversity and protection, and to create a sustainable income source for the local people working on the project. Visitors are encouraged to participate in monitoring species.

Environmental Policy

We promote sustainable lemur conservation through the design of management plans, including local communities’ development and private sector involvement.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Varecia Variegata from the Vohimana forest.

Net Positive Impact operates in three locations.

The Vohimana forest in the Mantadia – Zahamena:

  • Indri Indri indri
  • Diademed sifaka Propithecus diadema
  • Black-and-white ruffed Lemur Varecia variegata
  • Eastern lesser bamboo lemur Hapalemur griseus
  • Red-bellied lemur Eulemur rubriventer
  • Common brown lemur Eulemur fulvus
  • Goodman’s mouse lemur Microcebus lehilahytsara
  • Eastern woolly lemur Avahi laniger
  • Weasel sportive lemur lepilemur mustelinus
  • Greater dwarf lemur Cheirogaleus major
  • Aye-aye Daubentonia madagascariensis
  • Hairy-eared dwarf lemur Allocebus trichotis
  • Brown mouse lemur Microcebus rufus

Indri Indri from the Vohimana forest

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

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

The Ambalakalanoro forest in the north-west coast: 

  • Verraux’s sifaka Propithecus verreauxi
  • Common brown lemur Eulemur fulvus
  • Gray mouse lemur Microcebus murinus
  • Fat-tailed dwarf lemur Cheirogaleus medius
  • Mongoose lemur Eulemur mongoz
  • Western lesser bamboo lemur Hapalemur occidentalis
  • Masoala fork-marked lemur Phaner furcifer
  • Western woolly lemur Avahi occidentalis
  • Milne-Edwards’ sportive lemur Lepilemur edwarsi

How We Support Local Communities

Community Partnerships and Sustainability

Net Positive Impact partners with local organizations to ensure projects’ sustainability and community involvement. For the Vohimana project, the partners are different local associations, Mercie Vohimana, Manarapenitra, Zanatany, each specialized in a field. For the Ambalakalanoro project, the partner is the local district. For the Tsaramandroso project, the partners are VOI Mamelonarivo and CIRAD.

Social support

The income generated from ecotourism will be redistributed to the school and the health center that we constructed in a village near Vohimana, Ambavaniasy. The objectives are to improve the living conditions of local communities, enhance education access and reduce risk of disease. Secondly, protecting the forest for ecotourism will be shown to be a potential route to improving living conditions in the area, encouraging villagers to protect it and thus the species living in it.

Eulemur Rubriventer from the Vohimana forest

Sustainable agriculture productivity improvement

The objective is to support environment-friendly agriculture to prevent slash-and-burn farming or other practices jeopardizing biodiversity. We started a program of ginger cultivation with 120 villagers around the forest. A distillery of essential oil has been constructed and is managed by local workers. Ginger seeds have been given to selected farmers and Malagasy firms will buy the production.

The former traditional practices were participating in the destruction of the forest. Slash-and-burn cultures, as well as charcoal production, threaten the forest and the wildlife it shelters. It is clear that other income-generating activities linked to sustainable natural resources’ use could be promoted to support conservation.

Continue Reading

Madagascar Wildlife Conservation (MWC)

Madagascar Wildlife Conservation

What We Do

At Madagascar Wildlife Conservation (MWC) we work exclusively in the region surrounding Lac Alaotra, near Andreba, Madagascar (commune of Ambatosoratra) in the special conservation zone of the Alaotra New Protected Area. In this region, MWC protects the critically endangered Alaotra Gentle Lemur. This is the only place in the world where this lemur exists in the wild.
Work by MWC to conserve the lemur is heavily focused on working with and benefiting the local community.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Scientific name Hapalemur alaotrensis, Vernacular name Malagasy: Bandro

Lac Alaotra Gentle Lemur; Scientific name: Hapalemur alaotrensis; Malagasy: Bandro

We focus on protecting the Critically Endangered Alaotra Gentle Lemur through education, ecotourism, and elternative livelihoods in the Lac Alaotra region

MWC promotes long-term initiatives in this region that integrate biodiversity conservation, environmental education, and rural development using a scientific approach. Our three programs on education, ecotourism, and alternative livelihoods are ongoing and will be continued in the next years.

Our current focus is on Alaotra Gentle Lemur habitat restoration to reconnect isolated and fragmented subpopulations of lemurs.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Alaotra Gentle Lemur (Hapalemur alaotrensis) or Bandro in Malagasy. The population of the Alaotra Gentle Lemur has dropped from 11,000 individuals in 1990 to about 3,000. This species could be extinct in less than 40 years. The destruction of freshwater marsh habitat through slash and burn agriculture techniques, and poaching are the main causes. MWC works with the local community in the region surrounding Lac Alaotra to mitigate these threats and protect this lemur species from extinction.

Environmental education with the use of the comic book "Harovy fa harena"

Environmental education with the use of the comic book “Harovy fa harena”

How We Support Local Communities

Education

Since 2006, MWC has been encouraging local communities to learn about, take interest in, and ultimately understand and value their environment. Education is one of the most important requisites for a better living standard as well as for sustainable conservation.

We’ve implemented environmental education in the public primary schools (EPP) of the Alaotra region by distributing a comic book in Malagasy language “AROVY FA HARENA” which translates to “protect, because it is richness”. The goal is to raise public sensitivity and appreciation for the importance of an intact lake and preserved marshes. An evaluation conducted in 2011 and 2012 showed a significant increase in environmental knowledge of students receiving environmental education compared to controls.

Ecotourism

MWC also promotes sustainable ecotourism in the Alaotra region. Camp Bandro is a tourist facility close to the village Andreba and the special conservation zone Park Bandro. Trained guides take tourists on a discovery tour in a pirogue. On the lake and in the reed and papyrus marshes in Bandro Park, they can observe the rich variety of birds and the highly endangered Alaotra Gentle Lemurs themselves.

The management of this facility is a community-based project which serves as a source of further income for the villagers and generates income to finance micro projects for the community, like wells and market stands.

Income generating activity: use of water hyacinth as raw material in basketry

Income generating activity: use of water hyacinth as raw material in basketry

Alternative Livelihoods for the Community

In addition, at MWC we support the creation of alternative revenue sources to develop sustainable local microprojects. The aim is to elicit local competence in sustainable resource management, which respects the needs of the villagers and encourages new perspectives. This approach is the background of a project which encourages the villagers to use the invasive water hyacinth as an alternative revenue source.

Continue Reading