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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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Wildlife Madagascar

Wildlife Madagascar

Supporting Member of the Lemur Conservation Network

What We Do

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

How We Protect Lemurs and Other Wildlife

Indri. Photo: Lytah Razafimahefa.

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

Patrolling and Monitoring the Forest

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

Strengthening Communities

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

What Lemur Species We Protect

Northern Bamboo Lemur. Photo: Lytah Razafimahefa.

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

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

More Animals that Benefit from Our Work

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

How We Support Local Communities

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

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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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SEED Madagascar

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SEED Madagascar

What We Do

SEED Madagascar's Conservation Programme team.

SEED Madagascar’s Conservation Programme team.

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

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

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Conducting Research to Preserve Sainte Luce Habitat

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

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

Nocturnal Lemur Research

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

What Lemur Species We Protect

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

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

How We Support Local Communities

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

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

Sustainable Livelihoods

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

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

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

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

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

Community Health

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

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

Education

Conservation education with children.

Conservation education with children.

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

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