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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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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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Photography Inspiring Children in Conservation

What We Do

PICC 2020 students from Ambodiforaha, Masoala,
Madagascar. Photo by Pascal Elison

Our organisation Photography Inspiring Children in Conservation (PICC) is based on the concept of engaging with the natural world through visual arts. Our goal is to inspire Malagasy students to become lemur conservation leaders within their communities by providing them with knowledge of lemur ecology, as well as local conservation issues and solutions. Malagasy students gain skills in photography, illustration, and storytelling, providing an effective foundation upon which they may seek conservation-oriented careers. PICC was designed with a goal of building local capacity for sustainable conservation through educating and empowering both students and the broader community, including local teachers and elders.

The act of creating an image with photography or sketching rewires us to be truly present and see details and beauty on a deeper level of appreciation.

~Kathy West, PICC Director

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Over a two-week period, Malagasy students use customized coloring and activity books, worksheets, field journals, and DSLR cameras to document their local forests and develop scientifically accurate stories and illustrations.
They are encouraged to develop unique lemur conservation ideas, making contributions to their communities using their new skills. A village-wide gathering at the completion of the project celebrates the students’ works and recognizes participants as “Forest Ambassadors”. Equipment remains onsite, accessible to the students and teachers for sustained learning, career development, and conservation work. About 3,000 tourists visit Masoala National Park (NP) per year. One of our goals is to give Malagasy students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to have future careers in ecotourism and conservation, improving their own lives while also protecting lemurs and their habitats.

It is important to foster the development of skills for conservation job opportunities because research has shown that Malagasy people who are involved in ecotourism, and earn their income from sharing wildlife experiences with visitors, will not hunt lemurs and will discourage others from doing so. At the same time, providing training and employability skills to Malagasy students improves livelihoods.

What Lemur Species We Protect

We began our program in June 2020 with the students in the village of Ambodiforaha in northeast Madagascar, adjacent to the stunningly beautiful Masoala National Park, an area rich in biodiversity. This National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site protects as much as 40% of Madagascar’s mammalian diversity. On the Masoala peninsula, 9 out of 10 species of lemurs present are vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered, with the only remaining populations of some species found in this protected habitat.

PICC supports conservation of the following threatened lemur species in the Masoala NP and forest:

  • Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) (Critically Endangered)
  • White-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur albifrons) (Endangered)
  • Scott’s sportive lemur (Lepilemur scottorum) (Endangered)
  • Moore’s woolly lemur (Avahi mooreorum) (Endangered)
  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) (Endangered)
  • Hairy-eared dwarf lemur (Allocebus trichotis) (Vulnerable)
  • Masoala fork-marked lemur (Phaner furcifer) (Vulnerable)
  • Seal’s sportive lemur (Lepilemur seali) (Vulnerable)
  • Northern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur occidentalis) (Vulnerable)

How We Support Local Communities

Recognizing that this national park belongs to local communities and the Malagasy people, we aim to help children understand how to identify and maintain healthy ecosystems, as well as to understand the cultural, environmental and economic benefits of protecting lemur habitat.

Pascal Elison teaching PICC 2020 students from
Ambodiforaha, Masoala, Madagascar

Empowering Teachers and Community Elders in Education

In addition to focusing on children, the PICC program includes participation of teachers and elder leaders with traditional ecological knowledge, making the likelihood of program success much higher. This empowers the older community members who have extensive knowledge of native plants and animals and are related to many of the children in the program. Unlike teachers, these elders are seen as local leaders with ancestral ties to the land. This project acknowledges the importance of the Malagasy people’s place in their landscape. We are interested in learning from them, and in returning knowledge to the community through the workshops, books and posters of student writing, illustrations, and photographs. Participating teachers are expanding their knowledge base in order to educate other students and teachers in nearby villages.

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Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo)

University of Hanover

What We Do

Eulemur fulvus, Ankarafantsika National Park (photo: E. Zimmermann)

Eulemur fulvus, Ankarafantsika National Park (photo: E. Zimmermann)

At The Institute of Zoology at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover we help protect lemurs through on-the-ground research, capacity building, and captive management.

The working group “Lemur conservation Biology” from the Institute of Zoology has worked in the Ankarafantsika National Park (135,000 ha park) since 1995 and in the Mariarano forest since 2003. The Ankarafantsika National Park comprises the largest remaining patch of continuous dry deciduous forest in northwestern Madagascar and is therefore of utmost importance for the preservation of the remaining biodiversity.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

The Institute of Zoology in Hannover undertakes cutting edge research on lemurs both inside and outside Madagascar. One of our major aims is to increase understanding of how nocturnal lemurs have adapted and evolved in their respective environments.

In particular, the Institute studies the patterns, evolution, and consequences of differences between species in their behavior, bioacoustics, ecology, and susceptibility for diseases. Combining this knowledge with an understanding of how habitat needs and habitat fragmentation impact the genetic diversity of populations,it is possible to evaluate the changes for long-term survival of these populations.

In addition to our work in the field, the Institute of Zoology also leads the ex situ management of Goodman’s mouse lemur (Microcebus lehilahytsara), and keep one of only two breeding colonies worldwide for this species.

What Lemur Species We Protect

In the Ankarafantsika National Park, our work impacts:

  • Coquerel’s sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)
  • Milne-Edwards sportive lemurs (Lepilemur edwardsi)
  • Western woolly lemurs (Avahi occidentalis)
  • Golden-brown mouse lemurs (Microcebus ravelobensis), described by the Institute in 1998
  • Mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz)
  • Grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus)
  • Fat-tailed dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus)

How We Support Local Communities

Species and habitat conservation cannot be achieved without involving the Malagasy community and their active participation in decision-making processes. As a prerequisite, any conservation initiative must therefore aim to strengthen local knowledge and to raise responsibility for the unique biodiversity of Madagascar.

Since 1995, the Institute of Zoology has established a series of collaboration contracts with Malagasy authorities including the University of Antananarivo (Department of Zoology), the University of Mahajanga (Biology Department), and Madagascar National Parks (MNP). These are key to the long-term success of the programs and to build capacity in Madagascar for lemur conservation.

Specifically, the Institute aims to:

  1. jointly perform research projects and publish scientific results with Malagasy collaborators
  2. improve access of Malagasy partners to scientific results from the international research community
  3. provide institutional support for Malagasy universities and collaborators
  4. increase scientific networking with Malagasy colleagues
  5. support and mentor Malagasy students, postdocs, and researchers
  6. contribute to local capacity building of students and local field assistants
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Lemur Conservation Foundation

Lemur Conservation Foundation logoLemur Conservation Foundation

Supporting Member of the Lemur Conservation Network

What We Do

Critically endangered mongoose lemur born at LCF in 2014.

Critically endangered mongoose lemur born at LCF in 2014.

The Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF) helps conserve lemurs through managed breeding programs, outreach, and on-the-ground conservation in northeast Madagascar.

We are a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the primates of Madagascar through managed breeding, scientific research, and education. The foundation (and accompanying lemur reserve) focus on fostering natural lemur behavior to encourage a dynamic population.

LCF supports educational programs started by the late Dr. Alison Jolly in Madagascar and is developing content to bring those programs to classrooms in the United States. In addition, LCF provides financial support to assist in the establishment of a tourist and research camp in Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve in northeast Madagascar, home to the elusive Silky Sifaka and a unique population of Indri with black pelage.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

LCF has partnered with the Madagascar National Parks in Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve (ASSR) to provide boundary demarcations for this protected area and a site called Camp Indri which provides base camp for tourists and researchers. This helps protect habitat for lemurs and other wildlife.

Demarcation signs funded by LCF to outline the boundary of the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve.

Demarcation signs funded by LCF to outline the boundary of the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve.

Ex-situ we operate a 100 acre reserve in Myakka City, Florida. The reserve is set up with two semi free-ranging forests, each approximately ten acres, and two traditional enclosure buildings. As a Certified Related Facility with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, LCF participates in the Eulemur Species Survival Plan (SSP), Ruffed Lemur SSP, and Ring-tailed Lemur SSP, which include a global network of institutions working towards the propagation of selected lemur species in order to ensure the healthy existence of those species whose survival is in peril.

LCF also hosts field training programs, in which professors and their students utilize the facility and the lemur colony for behavioral observations and research on social dynamics and cognitive skills, as well as habitat use and food selection. These training programs produce future primatologists and conservation biologists which will carry the conservation imperative forward for lemurs and other endangered species. Fostering and inspiring conservation based careers is an invaluable part of LCF’s mission.

What Lemur Species We Protect

At our reserve in Florida, we house over 45 lemurs of six different species, most of which are critically endangered or endangered. LCF is a Certified Related Facility with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and participates in their Species Survival Plans which work to maintain a genetic safety net for a variety of lemur species. The species currently at the reserve are:

A family of Lemur catta in one of LCF’s semi free-ranging forests, where field students can observe lemurs in a natural environment.

A family of Lemur catta in one of LCF’s semi free-ranging forests, where field students can observe lemurs in a natural environment.

  • Collared lemur (Eulemur collaris)
  • Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz)
  • Sanford’s lemur (Eulemur sanfordi)
  • Common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus)
  • Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra)
  • Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)

LCF is supporting projects in Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve (ASSR), a large mountainous rainforest in northeastern Madagascar, which has long been recognized as a lemur priority site. At least 11 lemur species are found here including:

  • Indri (Indri indri)
  • Silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus)
  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Mittermeier’s mouse lemur (Microcebus mittermeieri)
  • Northern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur occidentalis)

How We Support Local Communities

Educational Outreach

We have the pleasure of continuing Dr. Alison Jolly’s legacy with the Ako Project, in collaboration with Dr. Hanta Rasamimanana, Dr. Jolly’s former colleague, professor at ENS, and Madagascar’s “Lemur Lady”.

The first book in the Ako Project series, Ako the Aye-Aye.

The first book in the Ako Project series, Ako the Aye-Aye.

The Ako Project, sponsored by EnviroKidz, is an educational children’s book series, translated in both English and Malagasy, which is intended to teach Malagasy children about different species of lemur in a fun, tangible way. The books come with matching curriculum to help teachers convey the conservation themes and concepts envisioned for the stories.

Training support

LCF also collaborates with École Normale Supérieure (ENS), the teachers’ training arm of the University of Antananarivo. This partnership supports the students of ENS in their field research and field work theses at the Berenty Reserve, a private wildlife reserve in southern Madagascar. Research done at Berenty includes lemur census surveys and plant phenology.

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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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Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar

Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar

What We Do

Biodiversity Conservation MadagascarBiodiversity Conservation Madagascar (BCM) was established in 2002 as the conservation arm of Bioculture (Mauritius) Ltd. Our main goals are to conserve threatened forests in east and west Madagascar that are of high biodiversity value, especially those rich in lemur species. We currently work in the 2,400 hectare lowland rainforest in Sahafina (East Madagascar) and the Beanka dry deciduous forest in the Maintirano region (West Madagascar).

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

BCM manages the conservation of two forests on behalf of the Malagasy government through “Conservation Leases.” Since 2003, we have been responsible for the protection of 2,400 hectares of humid low altitudinal forest in eastern Madagascar. In 2007, BCM started managing a second site—the Beanka New Protected Area in Western Madagascar. This 17,000 hectare forest is of significant ecological value and harbors a rich diversity of plants and animals.
We employ forest guards to reduce deforestation and poaching of lemurs.

What Lemur Species We Protect

We work in both east (Sahafina, near Brickaville) and west (Maintirano region) Madagascar protecting lemur species across both regions.

In the Benka conservation site, the program works to protect the following species:

  • Bemaraha woolly lemur (Avahi cleesei)
  • Fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus sp.)
  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Red-fronted lemur (Eulemur rufus)
  • Eastern lesser bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus)
  • Randrianasolo’s sportive lemur (Lepilemur cf. randrianasoli)
  • Pygmy mouse lemur (Microcebus myoxinus)
  • Giant mouse lemur (Mirza sp.)
  • Pale fork-marked lemur (Phaner pallescens)
  • Decken’s sifaka (Propithecus deckenii)

In their Sahafina project site, they protect:

  • Eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger)
  • Greater dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus major)
  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer)
  • Eastern lesser bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus)
  • Indri (Indri indri)
  • Brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus)

Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar IndigenousPlantNurseryBeanka

How We Support Local Communities

One of our primary approaches to forest protection includes the use of conservation payments to local communities. This program ensures that communities receive direct material benefits in exchange for supporting ongoing conservation projects.

Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar also implements the following programs in partnership with local communities:

Eucalyptus and fruit tree plantations

To alleviate pressures on the forest, at BCM we manage the growing and planting of Eucalyptus trees, which provide a good source of fuel and construction materials for local communities. Eucalyptus trees, due to their ability to grow quickly and without a lot of water, are an ideal replacement for the precious and slow-growing hardwood trees that have been traditionally cut down by Malagasy communities. BCM has also helped plant fruit trees in local villages to provide a secondary source of food and income to the local people.
Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar WaterWellBeanka

Water wells

BCM has provided the materials for local communities to build four water wells. This is of considerable importance as it helps assure a continuous water supply for the local community.

Agricultural training

BCM has trained local communities on how to effectively grow vegetables and to improve their rice growing techniques.
Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar

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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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