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Zazamalala Foundation

Zazamalala Foundation logo

The Zazamalala Foundation protects the dry deciduous forest of western Madagascar through reforestation, community development, captive breeding, and forest monitoring.

Sign for the Zazamalala Forest along the Route Nationale 35. Photo: Zazamalala Foundation.

What We Do

The Zazamalala forest was established in 2000 when blind Simon Rietveld returned after 30 years to the Morondava area in West Madagascar. He was shocked that most of the dry forest had been cleared. So, Simon and a team of international volunteers, together with paid local people, planted thousands of seedlings of rare species that once lived in the area. Gradually, the Zazamalala forest started to flourish.

Just 30 minutes by car from the Morondova airport, Zazamalala is an oasis of wilderness alongside small villages and rice fields. It provides the habitat for many animals, including lemurs, fossa, bush pigs, mongoose, snakes, and chameleons, and a huge variety of plants. At the Zazamalala botanical garden, we collect thousands of seeds and use them for reforestation. Zazamalala also houses a tortoise and turtle breeding centre.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Verreaux’s sifaka. Photo: Zazamalala Foundation.

The following lemur species can be found at Zazamalala.

  • Verreaux’s sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)
  • Red-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur rufifrons)
  • White-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur albifrons)
  • Fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae)
  • Grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)
  • Coquerel’s giant mouse lemur (Mirza coquereli)
  • Western fork-Marked dwarf lemur (Phaner pallescens)
  • Red-tailed sportive lemur (Lepilemur ruficaudatus)

How We Protect Lemurs and Other Wildlife

Reforestation

We are working to reforest a 30 km long and 1 to 3 hectares wide green corridor that will combine two isolated nature reserves: Mena Be and Zazamalala nature reserves. This corridor will allow animals to mingle, which is essential for genetic diversity. Thanks to our donors, Zazamalala forest was substantially enlarged between 2019-2021. We continually reforest and add more hectares of land, making more habitat for animals on the edge of extinction.

Turtle Breeding Program

The critically endangered Flat-tail Tortoise. Photo: Zazamalala Foundation.

In the Zazamalala botanical garden, we breed two critically endangered turtles.

The critically endangered Flat-tail Tortoise (Pyxis planicauda) lives in a small part of the dry deciduous forest of west Madagascar. The last remaining males and females rarely meet and when they do, the female produces only a single egg per year. In the Zazamalala botanical garden, we keep many males and females together to maximize encounters and release the young after two years.

The critically endangered Madagascar Big-headed Turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) lived for millions of years in the rivers and lakes of west Madagascar. At Zazamalala we breed them in large semi-natural containers, and release the young after one year.

In 2020, 43 critically endangered newborn Big-head turtles and Flat-tail tortoises were released in the forest and its ponds.

How We Support Local Communities

The Zazamalala concept for nature protection and reforestation encompasses a wholistic approach, including protection of animals and plants, and involving the local people. Photo: Zazamalala Foundation.

Apart of reforestation and breeding of endangered animals, community development is a prime issue. This means giving as many local people as possible paid work in the forest so they can be economically independent.

Education

In the villages around Zazamalala, education is limited and people have no electricity, bicycles, or books. We support education by repairing schools and constructing latrines and school desks.  We also organize activities to help people learn to write and speak French, which is important to find work.

Health and Development

We improve roads and constructs water pumps to provide the local community with clean drinking water. Zazamalala distributes ADES solar cookers to help families reduce their need for fuelwood and charcoal from the forest.

In 2020, 85 solar cookers were distributed to local families. Another 100 cookers were distributed in 2021.

The forests of west Madagascar are among the most threatened habitats in the world – only 3% remains.

We restore wilderness and support the people living around it. You can help!

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Association Mitsinjo

Mitsinjo Logo


What We Do

Association Mitsinjo was created in 1999 by the residents of Andasibe village in central Madagascar to cater to the growing number of tourists visiting the region. At Association Mitsinjo we work for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable development of the Andasibe region (central Madagascar) and beyond. This involves managing the forest station at the Analamazoatra Special Reserve, located next to the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

One of the Indris.

One of the Indri lemurs!

Association Mitsinjo has been managing the forest station at Analamazoatra Special Reserve since 2003, and we have a contract to manage this program until 2037. We aim to preserve and restore 700 hectares of rainforest in this region into pristine lemur habitat.

To date, logging and hunting using snares has almost stopped completely in this area. In addition, by the end of 2022 we have aleady restored almost 500 hectares using native trees grown in the Association’s nurseries. As a result, Indri populations have increased and the area has become a highlight for tourists visiting Madagascar.

Prolemur simus research.

A Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus) being held by a researcher.

What Lemur Species We Protect

More than 11 species of lemurs are known to inhabit the two protected areas managed by Association Mitsinjo. The following species are the focus of several Association Mitsinjo programs:

  • Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Indri (Indri indri)

How We Support Local Communities

As a community-based Malagasy conservation organization, all of our members are from the local community. To facilitate sustainable use of habitat, we have established a long-term management contract for our rainforest site. Preservation of this area, for both people and lemurs, form the core of our sustainability strategy.

We have engaged in a variety of social development and capacity building programs for local communities, including:

  • The construction of a primary school
  • Community-based monitoring of lemurs, birds, and frogs
  • Promotion of ecotourism and novel agricultural techniques
  • The establishment of a lemur research camp
Children planting rainforest trees.

Children planting rainforest trees. Photo: Association Mitsinjo.

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Crowned lemur. Photo: Mathias Appel.

Double Your Impact for Lemurs this Holiday Season!

Through December 31, 2021, donations up to $5,000 each for 5 Malagasy conservation organizations will be matched by Conservation Allies! That’s twice the impact for lemurs! Your support gives hope to lemurs, to Madagascar’s people, and to all of the unique wildlife in Madagascar. These organizations are trusted, well-established partners of the Lemur Conservation Network who work directly with communities in Madagascar to address human needs and protect lemur habitat. Donate Online through Conservation Allies! With your help, we can [...]
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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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Aspinall Foundation

Aspinall Foundation Logo

What We Do

Aspinall Foundation working with local community associations.

Aspinall Foundation working with local community associations.

In Madagascar, the Aspinall Foundation implements effective, targeted conservation programs to protect a small number of high priority lemur species, including Greater Bamboo lemurs, Black-and-white Ruffed lemurs and Indri. We partner with local communities to address the conservation of both the species themselves and their habitat. The Aspinall Foundation has worked in both the eastern rainforests and the western dry forests of Madagascar.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Our work has been key to helping save several Critically Endangered lemur species from extinction, by using effective, targeted conservation actions on a small number of high priority lemur species.

Habitat protection is key to the foundation’s work, and is integrated into many of our programs through our innovative partnerships with local community organizations.

Additionally, data collected by the Aspinall Foundation helps guide environmental policy. This has ensured that Black-and-white ruffed lemurs are now recognized as a priority species by Malagasy authorities. The information collected has shown how endangered these target species are. If we hadn’t collected this data it would be hard to get an accurate estimate of population sizes and threats against the species.

What Lemur Species We Protect

The programs implemented by The Aspinall Foundation have been helping to protect the following species:

An Indri (Indri indri), copyright Tony King Aspinall Foundation

  • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata)
  • Crowned sifaka (Propithecus coronatus)
  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz)
  • Greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus)
  • Indri (Indri indri)

Greater Bamboo Lemurs (Prolemur simus)

Since 2008, the Aspinall Foundation has been working in eastern Madagascar to save greater bamboo lemurs, one of the rarest primates in the world. Thanks to their work, they have been able to discover new populations of this species, implement community-based conservation projects at ten new sites, and create the first-ever, community-managed site designed specifically to protect greater bamboo lemurs. At this community-managed site, they monitor over 30 lemur groups and 500 individuals on a weekly basis, which have helped remove greater bamboo lemurs from the 25-most-endangered primates list!

Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata)

Since 2013, the Aspinall Foundation has been working in eastern Madagascar with conservation programming targeted at saving black-and-white ruffed lemurs. Thanks to their efforts, three new populations of the species have been discovered! Two populations of black-and-white ruffed lemurs are now protected and monitored annually.

The Aspinall Foundation plans to continue working to protect this species throughout its range and to develop conservation programs that help ensure its long-term survival.

How We Support Local Communities

Reforestation project.

One of the reforestation projects managed by The Aspinall Foundation.

Partnering with local communities

The Aspinall Foundation has a long-term commitment to the community. All of Aspinall’s projects are community-based and support the local community associations that conserve the local forest habitats identified as priority sites for target lemur species. Our work builds the capacity of these communities so that they can conserve their forests and local lemur populations for many years to come.

The Aspinall Foundation partners with local communities at every project site.

  • We partnered with six local community associations and one private land-owner in eastern Madagascar to save the greater bamboo lemur
  • Since 2010, we supported three local community associations in eastern Madagascar (Andriantantely) and hired over 15 rangers to monitor and protect lemurs and their habitats
  • In Andriantantely, our work is supported by a community-based management agreement that sets the foundation for local communities to manage their own forests sustainably
Lemur notebook distribution by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

Lemur notebook distribution by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

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Conservation Fusion

Conservation Fusion Logo

What We Do

Conservation Fusion connects communities across the world through innovative education programs that promote conservation actions. The organization currently focuses its efforts in Madagascar where it partners with research-oriented organizations – including the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership – to undertake education outreach programs. Conservation Fusion has ongoing programs in northern (Antsiranana region), eastern (Analmazaotra and Kianjavato), and southern Madagascar (Lavavolo).

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We protect lemurs by raising awareness of lemur species and their conservation at four sites in southern Madagascar.

Aye-aye puppets L. septentrionalis project

What Lemur Species We Protect

Conservation Fusion help to protect the following species of lemur:

  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata)
  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)
  • Northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis)
  • Verreaux’s sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi)

How We Support Local Communities

Our greatest successes have come from the relationships and collaborations that we have forged with researchers, local communities, and organizations who aim to complement Conservation Fusion’s education programs and vision.
Conservation fusion 2 Conservation Fusion continues education-based programming; our work in southern Madagascar is just one of the many initiatives being undertaken to raise awareness in-country. Here we focus on raising awareness of radiated tortoises, ring-tailed lemurs, and sifaka in the dry spiny forests of Lavavolo in southern Madagascar. Outreach programs – which have been implemented for over three years – consist of hands-on activities with the local villages and schools and include: community gardens, agriculture training, workshops on using fuel-efficient Rocket Stove, and a junior researcher day.

Conservation Festival Conservation fusion

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Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group

MFG Logo

What We Do

IMG_1543Our organisation, the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group (MFG) unites zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, universities and related conservation organizations worldwide to conserve the wildlife of Madagascar. With the help of our many partners, and thanks to the membership dues that these organizations provide, MFG manages Parc Ivoloina (a 282 hectare area) and the Rendrirendry Research Station at the Betampona Natural Reserve, both of which are in eastern Madagascar.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Starting in 2008, we received funding to undertake reforestation efforts in the region surrounding our project sites. The goals of this project were to work with local communities to replant trees in a 2 kilometer radius around the Betampona National Reserve. These reforestation efforts help to replenish habitat for lemurs and preserve the wider ecosystem, for the future.Varecia

We manage a 4-hectare zoological park within the larger Parc Ivoloina, where rescued and confiscated lemurs are kept in captivity until they can be released back into the wild. We also facilitate the success of captive breeding programs both in Madagascar and in partnership with programs in the United States. For example, the zoo has an established captive breeding program for Greater Bamboo lemurs and we have facilitated the first releases of captive-born black-and-white ruffed lemurs in the Betampona Nature Reserve; lemurs which had been raised by the Duke Lemur Center in the United States.

What Lemur Species We Protect

At MFG we have active research programs at our study sites in eastern Madagascar. These include research and conservation efforts aimed at helping the following species:

  • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata)
  • Black lemur (Eulemur macaco)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Indri (Indri indri)
  • Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema)

How We Support Local Communities

Capacity building

IMG_1518At MFG we are passionate about mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in Madagascar. We teach classes, and organize workshops that are aimed at providing hands-on training in a variety of disciplines. The support we provide also involves work with farmers to improve their food production levels, and with teachers to improve how active learning strategies are incorporated in the classroom.

Environmental Education

IMG_4049The MFG has a long history of undertaking environmental education projects. In 1995, we launched our Saturday School program at the Parc Ivoloina, which was designed to enhance the zoo’s education programs and discourage the acquisition of lemurs as pets.In 1997 we supplemented this program by training teachers on incorporating environmental education into the everyday school curriculum; this work resulted in the production of a 65-page manual entitled, “A practical guide for the teacher: the application of environmental education in primary school instruction.”

Over the years, these educational programs have been expanded to include both middle and high schoolers. We even provide training to elected officials in the local villages. Many of these training opportunities take place in the Ivoloina Conservation Training Center, a facility that includes a meeting room, library, and laboratory.

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Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP)

Madagascar Biodiversity Paternship log

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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