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Arol Ecolodge


What We Do

We sustainably develop ecotourism in the Antongil Bay, Masoala, Makira, Nosy Mangabe. We launched our Ecolodge concept on the western part of the Masoala Peninsula in 2001. So far we have had more than 4000 visitors who have been able to discover the exceptional local terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We protect Northern bamboo lemurs by planting bamboo, their food plant, in the Arol Ecolodge surroundings on the edge of Masoala forest. Around 100 bamboos have been planted and this has encouraged bamboo lemurs to visit near the lodge.

Northern bamboo lemur December 2019 Olivier Fournajoux

What Lemur Species We Protect

In the vicinity of the Arol Ecolodge there are Northern bamboo lemurs (Hapalemur occidentalis) which are a focus of our conservation efforts. These lemurs were classified Vulnerable in 2016 (Lemurs of Madagascar Strategy for Their Conservation) and are threatened by hunting and trapping.

How We Support Local Communities

  • By increasing rice production for the local community with the aid of an agricultural technician
  • Since 2007, we have been helping run the village school
  • The village is supplied with hydroelectricity and running water via standpipes with our contribution
  • Village associations gain direct benefits from ecotourism with our visitors

Support Arol Ecolodge’s Conservation Initiatives

You can donate at Arol Ecolodge’s Paypal account  (ecolodgechezarol@gmail.com). Every donation and expense will be clearly recorded.

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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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Impact Madagascar

What We Do

At IMPACT Madagascar we believe it’s not possible to protect the environment without also considering the people who depend on its resources on a daily basis. Since 2013 we’ve been working with local communities to alleviate poverty and provide achievable and sustainable environmental protection through a variety of projects.

We focus our work on five project sites, in five different locations: Ankirihitra (region Boeny), Madiromirafy (region Betsiboka), Mahajeby (region Bongolava), Dabolava (region Menabe), and Vohitrarivo (region V7V). Each of these rural sites is unique in their biodiversity and communities, but across these locations, our projects hold similar objectives. These include reforestation and ecological restoration, lemur and habitat monitoring, environmental outreach and practical environmental education, community development, community health, and community conservation.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Lemur and habitat monitoring

Our lemur and habitat monitoring includes periodic inventories of diurnal and nocturnal lemur populations located at our project sites. These focus mostly on the mongoose lemur and crowned sifaka (though the surveys are inclusive of all lemurs in the area).

The Sifaka Conservation program aims to save the fragmented forests across the four locations (along the central highlands and northwestern areas), in order to protect crowned sifaka populations and the remaining rare dry and gallery forests. Additionally, our team identifies and monitors the pressures and threats these lemur populations and their habitats face. With identification at each site, we can develop better strategies to combat these harmful actions and to prevent future destruction.

Reforestation

Our activities focused on forest restoration include large-scale community reforestation events. During these events, community members come together and plant native forest and fast-growing tree species in the area. The saplings that are planted are produced by the communities themselves in tree nurseries on site.

Conservation Education

Our conservation education projects constitute an important strategy to address threats to biodiversity and to ensure community participation and the sustainability of conservation actions. This environmental outreach includes awareness campaigns at both school and household levels. Additionally, information sessions take place through multimedia presentations and focus on the fundamental roles of the forest, the causes of destruction and their impact on human life, biodiversity and conservation, environmental laws, the food web, wildlife, and its ecological role, and ecosystem services.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Our conservation work currently focuses primarily on the Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz) and Crowned Sifaka (Propithecus coronatus), two critically endangered species present at our sites.

How We Support Local Communities

Community Development

To help improve the living conditions of the local population in conservation areas, we have many community development projects that aim to promote income-generating activities within these communities.

We work with the local people in order to increase their farming yield and agricultural production by monitoring and providing practical training in the use of modern farming techniques and improved livestock breeding programs, as well as promoting other alternative sources of income. In addition, we also encourage the production and sale of local produce to boost income within communities. As well as providing a more secure and sustainable future, this approach helps to reduce damage to biodiversity and forests from other farming methods.

Conservation education

Conservation education projects include practical activities such as healthy living, water purification, waste management, and how to recycle various types of waste. This aims to improve health and sustainability.

Establishment and support of VOIs

At each of our conservation sites, we have established local management committees, called VOIs. These committees help to manage the forests, and patrols are run by local people to monitor threats such as illegal logging and poaching, while simultaneously engaging local people in the protection of their forests.

Community Health

Additionally, we work to provide community health initiatives to these rural communities and offer them resources and care they do not otherwise have access to. These activities vary across sites and include medical missions in collaboration with health organizations to provide treatment and medical care, sexual and reproductive health education, and raising awareness about the importance of hygiene and water purification.

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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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Wildlife Conservation Society

WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

Supporting lemur conservation in Makira National Park

Wildlife Conservation Society 3The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. In Madagascar, WCS undertakes conservation in and around the perimeter of the Marika National Park in northeast Madagascar, where they partner with local communities to ensure lasting conservation success.

What Lemur Species does WCS Protect?

All of WCS’s conservation actions aim to contribute to the protection of lemur species found in the park. Activities include a comprehensive field-based system of surveillance, law enforcement monitoring and ecological monitoring; restoration and maintenance of critical forestry corridors; research into habitats and species found in the zone; and strengthening of the Government’s ability to manage and enforce forest and marine resource use regulations. WCS and its partners strive to develop the landscape as a model for resource conservation and biodiversity protection through better land stewardship linked to improved livelihoods.

Wildlife Conservation Society 1More than 15 species of lemurs are known in the Makira Natural Park in Northeastern Madagascar. Seven of them are included in WCS’ Makira Project conservation targets:

  • Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata subcincta)
  • Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra)
  • Indri (Indri indri)
  • Red bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer)
  • White-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur albifrons)
  • Common brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus)
  • Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus)

Ecological Monitoring of diurnal lemurs in Makira Natural Park

Ecological monitoring of lemurs is conducted annually at the Makira National Park in collaboration with the local communities. The aim is to detect any changes in the populations of these 7 species; data on lemur abundances, on habitat health, and threats facing biodiversity are collected and analyzed to show the possible variations in lemur populations and help target conservation programming. In parallel with this ecological monitoring, WCS Madagascar collaborates with international and national researchers to enrich bio-ecological information on lemurs through various methods including surveys and genetic analysis. Lastly, in collaboration with GERP Association, WCS helped discover a new species of mouse lemur in this region in 2009.

Participatory Conservation of Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus) in Makira Natural Park

Wildlife Conservation SocietySince 2005, in collaboration with international and national researchers, WCS has carried out extensive research on the Silky sifaka, a critically endangered lemur species in northeastern Madagascar. In addition, this program aims to:

  • Adopt a practical conservation action plan for the Silky Sifaka that is based upon participatory conservation measures;
  • Use baseline data on Silky Sifaka abundance, distribution and threats to identify priority conservation actions for inclusion in a conservation action plan;
  • Gain community and authority consensus on conservation action plan;
  • Develop and implement a synchronized ranger and community ecological monitoring network in Makira Natural Park;
  • Develop and implement a community ecological monitoring network.

This program will also have a community development component, which will involve education and awareness raising programs. In addition, WCS hopes to integrate Silky sifaka conservation in community ecotourism activities that generate economic benefits for the local community. For example, the organization has developed an eco-lodge and and partnerships with private tourism operators. The possibility of observing the Silky Sifaka is a key attraction of the site so it provides a tangible opportunity to generate economic benefits for the community resulting from the conservation of this species.

Partnering with Local Communities

Wildlife Conservation Society 2WCS works hard to ensure the sustainability of their programming, as there are clear links between improved livelihoods, improved land stewardships, and resource conservation. To achieve this, WCS engages with local communities to build their capacity as effective stewards of their natural resources and to ensure that they derive benefits from the natural resources though promotion of community-based ecotourism and nature based product enterprises, improved agriculture, reinforced governance, and market access.

Partnerships are established through the transfer of forest management to local communities. Communities are also involved in patrolling and ecological monitoring. In addition, WCS has trained dozens of local community teams to assist in their data collection programs, thereby increasing the capacity of communities to monitor local biodiversity and ecosystems.

WCS is developing a network of community based natural resources management sites in the form of a ‘green belt’ around the protected areas. WCS provides support to communities to improve sustainable management of natural resources through diversification of livelihood options and activities to improve human health and welfare. Finally, WCS is taking a leadership role to secure the area’s financial future, and has developed partnerships with the private sector in the sale of carbon credits from avoided deforestation, ecotourism, and wildlife friendly products.

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CPALI: Conservation through Poverty Alleviation International

CPALI logo.

Conservation through Poverty Alleviation International

What We Do

Conservation through Poverty Alleviation International (CPALI) is an international NGO dedicated to a community-centered approach to conservation. Instead of building boundaries, CPALI focuses on strengthening the existing relationship between people and the environment through the development of sustainable livelihoods.

CPALI helps impoverished communities farm and transform native resources to create sustainable enterprises that benefit both people and ecosystems. In Madagascar, the organization works hand-in-hand with SEPALI, an independently-registered Malagasy NGO (2009) in charge of program implementation.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

New cocoon.CPALI works in northeastern Madagascar along the borders of the largest remaining protected area in the country. There, CPALI works with a network of subsistence farmers to cultivate endemic resources and secure a market for their products. Thanks to CPALI’s work, farmers are now planting endemic trees in former clear-cut zones, intercropping trees with edible plants, raising native silkworms to produce silk, using insects as a protein source, and investigating the production of edible mushrooms. The result is a native ecosystem of production which contributes to forest buffer zones near the parks, supports rural farmers, and mitigates the need for bush meat and resource extraction.

Today, CPALI works with a rapidly growing network of farmers’ groups representing 13 communities and over 350 farmers. Together, their participants have planted over 30,000 native trees, raised their average annual household income by over 50%, and are gradually assuming management of the project. Ultimately, CPALI hopes to achieve a sustainable and independent farmer cooperative in Madagascar.

What Lemur Species We Protect

CPALI/SEPALI work to engage communities in the northeastern regions of Madagascar, especially in the perimeter areas surrounding the Makira Protected Area and the Masoala National Park. Some of the lemur species found in these areas, include:

  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra)
  • White-fronted brown lemurs (Eulemur albifrons)

How We Support Local Communities

Preparing tree nurseries.CPALI’s greatest strength is that it utilizes resources that are already present: endemic species, local leadership, and community networks. CPALI/SEPALI Malagasy staff manage on-the-ground projects and hire lead farmers in each community to serve as their local liaisons, trainers, and model farmers. These lead farmers, both men and women, are elected by their communities and are intimately involved in program direction, strategy, and implementation.

Prior to implementation, all CPALI/SEPALI projects are evaluated by the community members who would be engaged in the project if it were implemented. In addition, projects undergo scientific evaluation to examine how they will have an impact on the health of the protected area, soil quality, and recovered habitats. Together, these assessments help CPALI evaluate their successes, learn from their mistakes, and make adjustments in policy to better reach their goals.

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