Top Nav

Archive | Greater bamboo lemur

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 [...]
Continue Reading

Centre ValBio & the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments

ICTE and Centre ValBio focus the world’s attention on Madagascar’s lemur crisis through targeted research, conservation, and capacity building.

Supporting lemur conservation by promoting world-class research, encouraging environmental conservation, and building local capacity

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. ICTE – 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) – founded in 2003 – helps both indigenous people and the international community better understand the value of conservation in Madagascar and around the world.

CVB’s mission 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; and
  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.

What lemur species do ICTE and the Centre Valbio protect?

Centre valbio wildlife

Wildlife in the Ranomafana National Park.

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)

It is important to note that long-term research programs are a big priority to ICTE, who trains 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, the organization also conducts biodiversity research and ecological assessments of tropical ecosystems, and coordinates and catalogs the work of over 800 natural and social scientists!

Recent successes at CVB include the translocation of three Prolemur simus from a forest fragment to the national park, as well as the discovery of a thriving group in a nearby region!

Influencing environmental policy to help lemurs

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 CVB. 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.

Partnering with 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/CVB has been collaboration and partnerships with the local Malagasy community. CVB employs over 80 local Malagasy as guides and staff for the research station, and has opened up opportunities for work in the park and surrounding areas. In addition to providing sustainable employment, CVB 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 works is achieved through 15 conservation clubs spread across 22 villages that contain almost 500 members. They also use audiovisual and hands-on demonstrations to teach about biodiversity and reforestation in 19 local schools. Most recently, Centre ValBio and ICTE support a range of education initiatives in the Ranomafana region through the PLAY project.

Centre ValBio donates food to local community

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

Reforestation program

The 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. Their 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

CVB works to improve the local communities’ nutritional conditions through education, implementation of infrastructure, and follow-up on improved sanitary practices. For example, CVB provides seeds and training for vegetable gardens to improve nutritional conditions in impoverished rural communities.

Continue Reading

Aspinall Foundation

Aspinall Foundation Logo

The Aspinall Foundation’s long-term, community-based programs protect wildlife and wild habitats in Madagascar, ensuring that communities can conserve their forests and local lemur populations for many years to come.

Supporting lemur conservation through local partners to conserve endangered species and their habitats

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. They 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.

What lemur species does the Aspinall Foundation protect?

The Aspinall Foundation’s work has been key to saving several Critically Endangered species from extinction. Using effective, targeted conservation actions on a small number of high priority lemur species, the programs implemented by The Aspinall Foundation have helped save 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 does the Aspinall Foundation protect lemur habitat?

Reforestation project.

One of the reforestation projects managed by The Aspinall Foundation.

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

Partnering with local communities

The Aspinall Foundation’s support is always 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 that have been identified as priority sites for their target lemur species. Their 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.

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

Lemur notebook distribution by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

Influencing environmental policy to help lemurs

Additionally, the data collected by the Aspinall Foundation helps guide environmental policy. Thanks to their work, black-and-white ruffed lemurs are now recognized as a priority species by Malagasy authorities. The information they’ve collected has clarified how endangered their target species are, which is important because a lack of data prohibits an accurate estimate of population sizes and threats against the species.

Continue Reading

Conservation Fusion

Conservation Fusion LogoConservation Fusion connects communities across the world through education and environmental awareness raising.

Supporting lemur conservation through innovative education and outreach

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).

What lemur species does Conservation Fusion protect?

Conservation Fusion’s programing increases awareness at four sites across Madagascar which are home to 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)

Partnering with local communities

Conservation Fusion’s greatest successes have come from the relationships and collaborations that they have forged with researchers, local communities, and organizations who aim to complement Conservation Fusion’s education programs and vision.

Conservation fusion 2Southern Madagascar

Conservation Fusion continues to break barriers in its education-based programming; their work in southern Madagascar is just one of the many initiatives being undertaken to raise awareness in-country. Here, Conservation Fusion focuses on raising awareness of radiated tortoises, ring-tailed lemurs, and sifaka in the dry spiny forests of Lavavolo in southern Madagascar. Their 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.

Conservaiton fusion 1One of Conservation Fusion’s larger initiatives is the building of a “dream school”; a school that village elders wished to provide to their children but something that had only ever been a dream for them. Conservation Fusion has started construction on the school, and plans to provide teacher trainings, and teacher salaries for three years. The school – in partnership with Hug It Forward – is being built with recycled materials and school uniforms (bright yellow t-shirts featuring beautiful nature designs) where designed by students and community members at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.

Aye-aye puppets L. septentrionalis project Conservation Festival Conservation fusion

Continue Reading

Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group

MFG Logo

The Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group unites organizations across the world to conserve wildlife in Madagascar.

Saving lemurs since 1988 by uniting organizations across the world and managing two project sites in Madagascar

IMG_1543The 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 its 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.

What lemurs species does the MFG protect?

The MFG has active research programs at its study sites in eastern Madagascar. These include research and conservation efforts aimed at 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)

The research activities of the MFG have resulted in the publication of dozens of scientific manuscripts.

How does the MFG protect habitat for lemur conservation?

Varecia

Starting in 2008, the MFG received funding to undertake reforestation efforts in the region surrounding their 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.

Helping lemurs in captivity

MFG manages 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. MFG also actively facilitates 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 Prolemur simus. In addition, MFG has 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.

Partnering with the local community

Capacity building

IMG_1518The MFG mentors undergraduate and graduate students in Madagascar, teaches classes, and organizes workshops that are aimed at providing hands-on training in a variety of disciplines. The organization also works with farmers to improve their food production levels and with teachers to improve how active learning strategies are incorporated in the classroom.

Environmental Education

The MFG has a long history of undertaking environmental education projects. In 1995, the MFG launched their 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.

IMG_4049

In 1997 they 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 and even target 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.

Continue Reading

Association Mitsinjo

Mitsinjo LogoCommunity-based organization managing two rainforest sites in Central and Eastern Madagascar

Working Towards Sustainable Development in Central Madagascar and Beyond

Association Mitsinjo works for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable development of the Andasibe region (central Madagascar) and beyond. They manage the forest station at the Analamazoatra Special Reserve, a part of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. They also manage the Torotorofotsy Ramsar Site in eastern Madagascar—one of the last intact mid-altitudinal marshes in the country.

What Lemur Species does Association Mitsinjo Protect?

Prolemur simus research.

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

More than 11 species of lemurs are known in 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 does Association Mitsinjo Protect Lemur Habitat?

Management of the Forest Station at the Analamazoatra Special Reserve

One of the Indris.

One of the Indri lemurs!

Association Mitsinjo has been managing the forest station since 2002 and has a contract to manage this program for another 20 years. They 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, they have restored 400 hectares using 400,000 native trees grown in the Association’s nurseries. As a result of their work, Indri populations have increased and the area has become a highlight for tourists visiting Madagascar.

Management of the Torotorofotsy Ramsar Site

Children planting rainforest trees.

Children planting rainforest trees.

Association Mitsinjo has managed the Ramsar Site since 2005. They help enforce its protected area status and facilitate sustainable use of the habitat by the local community.

The Association emphasizes local capacity building, building a variety of different programs including:

  • The construction of a primary school;
  • Community-based monitoring of lemurs, birds, and frogs;
  • Promotion of ecotourism and novel agricultural techniques;
  • And, the establishment of a lemur research camp.

Thanks to their efforts, a new population of greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus) have been found in the area, which are now being monitored.

Partnering with Local Communities

Children learning about nature.

Children learning about nature.

As a community-based Malagasy conservation organization, all of their members are from the local community. To preserve the sustainability of their programming, they have established long-term management contracts for two rainforest sites. Preservation of these areas—for both people and lemurs—form the core of their sustainability strategy. As noted above, they engage in a variety of social development and capacity building programs for the communities they support, including the construction of a primary school.

Continue Reading

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP)

Madagascar Biodiversity Paternship logMadagascar Biodiversity Partnership works with communities on comprehensive research and conservation programming.

Supporting Lemur Conservation by believing that everything is connected, or “Mampifandray ny tontolo”

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

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

The Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (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. The MBP strives 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”, the MBP incorporates research, education and community involvement to achieve sustainability.

What Lemur Species does the Madagascar Biodiversity Project Protect?

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Baby Lepilemur septentrionalis_EE Louis Jr

A baby Lepilemur septentrionalis being examined.

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

 

  • Aye aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata)
  • Crowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus)
  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus; only about 300 individuals remain!)
  • Northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis; only about 50 individuals remain!)
  • Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)

The MBP is 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 – they 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 the MBP year-round. Finally, the MBP uses 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.

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Nore teaching planting techniques_HHamilton

Teaching planting techniques in rural Madagascar.

How is MBP Protecting Habitat for Lemur Conservation?

MBP is a leader in reforestation efforts in Madagascar, and undertakes programming in west (Andasibe, Kianjavato) and southern Madagascar (Lavavolo). The MBP also undertakes reforestation initiatives in the areas where it is working to distribute fuel-efficient cook stoves in northern Madagascar.

The MBP’s 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, the MBP has been able to plant over 60,000 trees!

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership EPP Kianjavato students with trees_HHamilton

Students from the Kianjavato public school students with 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. Moving forward, the MBP hopes to plant one million trees and restore Kianjavato’s fragmented forest landscape.

Partnering with 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, which is compounded by their decreasing GDP. 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 their 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. MBP has 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. MBP – in partnership with a Omaha-based aquaponics nonprofit – is undertaking pilot programs which will help fine-tune the implementation of this type of equipment on-the-ground in Madagascar.

Capacity building

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Prolemur simus eating bamboo_ BEnyart

Prolemur simus eating some bamboo.

As part of the MBP’s 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, the MBP supports 80+ full-time Malagasy employees as field assistants, project supervisors, office employees, and supporting staff members.

Continue Reading