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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

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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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Man and the Environment: Net Positive Impact Program

The main objective of Man and the Environment’s Net Positive Impact program is to ensure long-term forest and lemur conservation — and biodiversity conservation in general — through the involvement of local communities in management programs and economic activities in favor of the environment.

Net Positive Impact is a program of the Non-Governmental Organization Man and the Environment, a French organization that works in East and Northwest Madagascar.

What lemur species does Net Positive Impact protect?

Varecia Variegata from the Vohimana forest.

Net Positive Impact operates in three locations.

The Vohimana forest in the Mantadia – Zahamena:

  • Indri indri
  • Propithecus diadema
  • Varecia variegata
  • Hapalemur griseus
  • Eulemur rubriventer
  • Eulemur fulvus
  • Microcebus lehilahytsara
  • Avahi laniger
  • lepilemur mustelinus
  • Cheirogaleus major
  • Daubentonia madagascariensis
  • Allocebus trichotis
  • Microcebus rufus

Indri Indri from the Vohimana forest

The Tsaramandroso community forest in the buffer zone of the Ankarafantsika National Park:

  • Propithecus coquereli
  • Lepilemur edwardsi
  • Avahi occidentalis
  • Microcebus ravelobensis
  • Eulemur mongoz
  • Microcebus murinus
  • Cheirogaleus medius
  • Eulemur fulvus

The Ambalakalanoro forest in the north-west coast: 

  • Propithecus verreauxi coquereli
  • Eulemur fulvus fulvus
  • Microcebus murinus
  • Cheirogaleus medius
  • Eulemur mongoz
  • Hapalemur griseus occidentalis
  • Phaner furcifer
  • Avali occidentalis
  • Lepilemur edwarsi

How does Net Positive Impact work for lemur conservation?

Habitat protection

As lemurs cannot survive when their natural habitat is in danger, Net Positive Impact works for habitat preservation and environmental conservation in the Vohimana, in the Tsaramandroso and the Ambalakalanoro forests by developing environmental programs. Our main actions are to make these sites “protected areas” to ensure their survival. We also monitor species registration, study their long-term acclimatization and take actions to promote their development in the zone, like reforestation and agro-forestry.

Eco-tourism

An infrastructure to develop ecotourism has been constructed in the Vohimana Forest, in order to raise awareness of locals and visitors about the site’s biodiversity. Visitors are encouraged to participate in monitoring species.

Learn more about Vohimina

Environmental policy

Promote approaches targeting sustainable lemur conservation through the design of management plans including local communities’ development and private sector involvement.

Key Projects in Madagascar

The Vohimana Project

The main objective is protecting the forest and wildlife by giving local populations lasting sources of income based on a management plan ensuring sustainable agriculture and conservation areas.

Net Positive Impact believes that no sustainable and lasting wildlife-saving orientated project can be achieved if local communities remain impoverished, as practices endangering forests and wildlife are the ones that often make locals survive.

Thus, Net Positive Impact started a global program comprising forest and wildlife protection and local communities living conditions improvement.

The Vohimana protected area project started in 2002 with the signature of an agreement transferring the management responsibility of the forest from the government to the NGO Man and the Environment for a renewable period of 25 years. The first step was to define the management plan, design the area for conservation and sustainable development purposes, and organize income generating activities for local communities and social improvement.

Eulemur Rubriventer from the Vohimana forest

The Vohimana project has four principal steps:

1. Securing the Vohimana forest for long-term conservation.

In the 2000’s, the Vohimana forest almost disappeared because of fires and burn-and-slash agriculture. To preserve this fragile ecosystem, the lemurs and other species living in it, the first capital step was to secure the forest.

Notable successes:

  • Man and the Environment was able to transform the Vohimana forest into a protected area in 2002, and it slowed down these dangerous practices. Research institutions (CIRAD) showed that forest cover loss was between 2002 and 2014 less important in Vohimana than the average in the national parks.
  • A local control forest committee has been organized with the aim to prevent traffic and fires.
  • A partnership has been made between biologists and universities, which allowed the beginning of an annual presence of scientists to launch a sustainable and regularly updated species’ population follow-up.

2. Ecotourism as a conservation tool.

The objective is to raise awareness about environment protection and to create a sustainable income source for the locals working on the project. Man and the Environment constructed an eco-shelter to welcome tourists and to secure the forest. In 2017, the infrastructure had been partly destructed by a cyclone.

Notable successes:

  • A basic infrastructure has been built and welcomed visitors on site for many years. Incomes were managed by a local association ran by people from the area who are the beneficiaries as well as guides.
  • A students & volunteers program has been put in place to train students in species monitoring and agroforestry management. Their presence in remote areas of the forest discourages risks of potential trafficking.

3. Sustainable agriculture productivity improvement.

The objective is to support environment-friendly agriculture to prevent slash-and-burn farming or other practices jeopardizing biodiversity. Net positive Impact started a program of ginger cultivation with 120 villagers around the forest. Likewise, a distillery of essential oil has been constructed and is managed by local workers. Ginger seeds have been given to selected farmers but follow-up training should be carried out. Malagasy firms will buy the production.

Notable successes:

  • The former traditional practices were participating in the destruction of the forest. Slash-and-burn cultures, as well as charcoal production, are the most dangerous threats to the forest and the wildlife it shelters. Net Positive Impact managed to launch environmental-friendly agriculture practices. It is now clear that other incomes-generating activities linked to sustainable natural resources’ use could be promoted to support conservation.

4. Social support.

The incomes generated from visitors of the ecotourism infrastructure will be redistributed to the school and the health center the NGO Man and the Environment constructed in a village near Vohimana, Ambavaniasy. The objective is double. First, to contribute to improve the living conditions of the locals, enhance education access and reduce risks of disease. Second, the forest can be seen as a potential source of living conditions improvement, encouraging villagers to protect it and thus the species living in it.

Notable successes:

  • A health center has been built on site and donors found to ensure the salary of the mid wife/nurse. – A primary school has been built on site to allow local access to education. 250 children can go
    to class.
  • A local association has been supported to regroup farmers for eucalyptus firewood forest management (preventing natural forest charcoal production), forestry seedlings production, ecotourism management, forestry control organization and essential oil production.

The Ambalakalanoro project

This projects aims to secure the Ambalakalanoro forest for long term conservation, in order to prevent possible fires or cuts in the forest and allow tourists to visit the site. The Ambalakalanoro forest is now the last shelter of those animals that managed to escape the recurrent fires. Its size is reduced to only 65 hectares, and therefore can be compared more to a private park with exceptional fauna and flora than to a state protected area. The Ambalakalanoro project was launched in 2010.

Notable successes:

  • The natural circus surrounding the forest and protecting the area has been secured.
  • Rare species have been observed, including the fossa, confirming the great biological interest of this tiny remaining forest.
  • Due to the loss of its habitat, the wildlife has no choice but to find shelter in this forest. As a result, the number of lemurs has increased: 66 sifakas now live in the forest.

Propithecus verreauxi coquereli from the Tsaramandroso and Ambalakalanoro forests

The Tsaramandroso project

The forest is located near Ankarafantsika national park. It is under great pressure of deforestation, jeopardizing the wildlife it shelters. The goal of the project is to secure the forest and its wildlife by supporting local communities in preventing slash-and-burn farming or other practices jeopardizing biodiversity. The project was launched in 2015. To do so, Net Positive Impact started a program of a sustainable collection of Saro leaves on site and other aromatic plants. Net Positive Impact also constructed a distillery of essential oils, managed by local farmers.

Notable successes:

  • The distillery employs 12 people. Farmers are motivated to prevent slash-and-burn agriculture and outsiders coming into the forest to over-harvest it.

Community Partnerships and Sustainability

Net Positive Impact partners with local organizations to ensure projects’ sustainability and local involvement.

For the Vohimana project, the local partners are different local associations, Mercie Vohimana, Manarapenitra, Zanatany, each specialized in a field.

For the Ambalakalanoro project, the local partner is the local district.

For the Tsaramandroso project, the local partners are VOI Mamelonarivo and CIRAD.

Donations Are Needed to Support These Projects in Madagascar

Vohimana Project

Donations are need to secure the Vohimana forest for long-term conservation.

Transforming the 25 years management plan agreement into a purchase of a 99-year lease of the forest.
Estimated budget to buy the 560 hectares of  forest: 250 000€

Recently, the government of Madagascar decided to sell the forest and the neighboring lands. The sale will happen at the expense of the local populations, despite their involvement in developing agro-forestry cultures respecting a long-term forest conservation plan. As a result, the risk is that individuals or companies will be able to legally destroy the forest or adopt environmentally destructive activities. Moreover, farmers will lose their lands and those who until now were using sustainable agriculture methods protecting the forest will have no choice but to go back to environment-damaging methods, as slash-and-burn culture. A solution is that Man and the Environment finances the purchase of the forest by obtaining a long-term lease of 99-year between the NGO and the State of Madagascar. Thus, the NGO would ensure the protection of the forest and its species.

Equipment of the forest patrols.
Estimated budget: 5 000€
The patrols cannot be efficient in preventing fires and wood trafficking if the proper equipment is lacking.

Employing one biologist and logistician on the field to organize the stays of biologists and the lemurs, frogs, rare plants (and other species) follow-up.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Net positive Impact organizes lemur population monitoring. The objective is to achieve a serious database on the evolution of these populations and raise awareness of visitors, who are invited to participate in the data collection.

Securing the land for sustainable agroforestry farming and ensuring training of local farmers.
Estimated budget: 100 000€
The neighboring lands will be sold by the Malagasy government. The risk is that lands may be bought by individuals or firms that do not respect the environment and endanger the wildlife. The NGO can buy the lands and redistribute them to local farmers which agreed to an environment-friendly agriculture.

Ecotourism as a conservation tool.

Improve ecotourism infrastructure.
Estimated budget: 56 000€
Due to the cyclone, the ecotourism infrastructure cannot be functional. To be able to welcome visitors again and generate income, the infrastructure needs to be rebuilt.

Sustainable agriculture productivity improvement.
Estimated budge: 8 000€
Ginger production has been promoted, offering great opportunities to local farmers. Different plants of economic interest have been identified and are now promoted. Local farmers will be trained in improved sustainable practices.

Continue production and training for essential oils.
Estimated budget: 15 000€
A first production unit of essential oil has been provided and local community trained to process local plants for which sustainable markets have been found. Leaves from the forest are being sustainably used for production. Two new stills will be added to increase the production of essential oil, following demand.

Training in sustainable agriculture.
Estimated budget: 4 000€
Training sessions have been started to promote sustainable agriculture in place of slash-and-burn agriculture and farmers started to show interest for more training. Man and the Environment technicians will provide more training sessions on sustainable agriculture.

Social support.
Estimated budget: 3000€
For the health center to become functional, a mid-wife and a nurse need to be employed full-time and health supplies need to be bought, before the added value from the essential oil production allows paying these costs.

Education.
Estimated budget: 20 000€
The villagers approved the primary school the NGO constructed, and now ask for four classrooms for kids from 11 to 15 years old.

Training in Management and Accounting.
Estimated budget: 3000€
The local association is functioning but needs to be trained in management and accounting.

Training in Medicinal Plants.
Estimated budget: 8 000€
Promotion of a proper use of safe and efficient local medicinal plants.

The Ambalakalanoro Project

Secure Forest.
Estimated budget: 70 000€
It is important to secure the forest and its surroundings to ensure conservation by obtaining a long-term lease of 99 years for the forest itself.

Research.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Organize studies of fauna, its long-term acclimatization and understand the actions necessary to promote its development in the zone.

Raise Awareness.
Estimated budget: 5 000€
Communicate about the site in order to draw national and international interest to conservation.

Promote Ecotourism.
Estimated budget: 5 000€

Promote hotel facilities development on the surrounding areas, companies that will have long-term interest to preserve an appealing environment for patrons and to involve local population in environmental protection.

The Tsaramandroso Project

Distillery.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Install a new professional distillery on site.

Medicine Plants.
Estimated budget: 5 000€

Identify and standardize medicinal and aromatic plants of immediate commercial interest for local populations.

Donate

  • Net Positive Impact accepts online donations on its website.
  • MATE can ensure that donations from the Lemur Conservation Network go directly to lemur and environmental programs.

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LEEP- University of Arizona

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About the Laboratory for the Evolutionary Endocrinology of Primates (LEEP)

Adult male red-bellied lemur Atody with infant Ovy, showing off an example of allomaternal care. Photo by Pierre Lahitsara, as part of a face recognition project.

Adult male red-bellied lemur Atody with infant Ovy, showing off an example of allomaternal care. Photo by Pierre Lahitsara, as part of a face recognition project.

Our program generally focuses on primate research and conservation, with a focus on lemurs. We are concerned with how lemurs negotiate survival and reproduction in dynamic environments. The majority of our research is conducted with red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer), but we are also involved in research with other species, such as the brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus), Milne-Edwards sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi), and Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema).

Most work is conducted in Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar, but we also do work at Kianjavato and Tsinjoarivo with our collaborators.

Engaging with the local community

We engage directly with community members in several ways. We hire local experts to help us conduct our research. We train students and locals without formal education in scientific principles and date collection.

We collaborate with researchers and Centre ValBio staff on grant proposals and research. And we communicate our research at all stages through disseminating publications, giving presentations to officials, tourism guides, faculty, and students, and co-mentoring students.

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Madagasikara Voakajy

Madagasikara Voakajy

What We Do

Madagasikara Voakajy schoolchildren at manakana Est

School children with the Madagasikara Voakajy lemur mascot!

At Madagasikara Voakajy we promote conservation, and sustainable use of Madagascar’s unique species, habitats and ecosystems, for the benefits of Malagasy people.

Madagasikara Voakajy was established in 2005 to provide job opportunities for young Malagasy researchers. Over time, we have evolved to become an organization that provides opportunities for Malagasy biologists to become leaders in the conservation and ecological study of a wide variety of species.

Nowadays, we use evidence-based interventions and stakeholder engagement to target our conservation of species and their habitats. Currently, we have teams of experts who focus on baobabs, bats, reptiles, amphibians and lemurs.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We monitor four species of lemur, having implemented a monitoring program using occupancy modeling, a method that could be implemented easily with the local communities. In the Alaotra-Mangoro region, our interventions benefit at least seven other lemur species.

Hunting for lemurs in the Alaotra-Mangoro Region (where Madagasikara Voakajy does much of its work) is a real problem. Our research on this topic has found that lemur hunting may be widespread in this region and may be increasing. In addition, the traditional taboos that some groups in this region hold against hunting some lemur species (like the Indri) may be breaking down. Since 2015, the monitoring of threats and pressures has been carried out. Only Ayes-ayes now remain taboos for the hunters.

In October 2015, we started using camera traps to monitor lemurs and other animal species in Mangabe protected area (Moramanga district). This method provides valuable information on the presence / absence, behavior and habitat use of lemurs.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Currently, Madagasikara Voakajy directly impacts the following lemur species:

  • Common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus)
  • Indri (Indri indri)
  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Alaotra gentle lemur (Hapalemur alaotrensis)

How We Support Local Communities

Madagasikara Voakajy

Madagasikara Voakajy has worked to create several protected areas and natural resources use programs in Madagascar.

Outreach

Given the high rates of lemur hunting in our target region, Madagasikara Voakajy undertakes awareness campaigns of the protected status of lemurs with both children and adults. For example, ‘Lenari’, our Indri mascot, interacts with audience members at outreach events through playing, singing and dancing. ‘Lenari’ makes appearances at the organization’s events which include animal festivals, drawing competitions, song and poem competitions, field trips, and even the creation of school biodiversity clubs.

Now, the SOS project, “Youths for lemurs – Lemurs for youths”, sees young people aged 15-25 from the villages around Mangabe, participate in the conservation of lemurs. Young people make song contests, interviews on lemur conservation and broadcast radio programs to raise awareness of the importance of lemurs amongst their communities.

Madagasikara Voakajy

Madagasikara Voakajy trains Malagasy scientists both at the university level and beyond.

Madagasikara Voakajy also undertakes outreach in schools. Our partnership with education authorities at the local level is especially helpful with schools located in communities that are within the boundaries of new protected areas.

Capacity building

Through our student training program, Madagasikara Voakajy continues to nurture the next generation of Malagasy scientists.We are also aiming to build the careers of promising Malagasy biologists through employment within the organization.

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Northern Illinois University

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Northern Illinois University

About Mitchell Irwin’s Work in Behavioral Ecology, Health and Conservation of Wild Primates

My research examines the ecology and behavior of lemurs in a range of habitat types (from highly disturbed fragments to relatively intact continuous forest) in Tsinjoarivo, eastern Madagascar.

One major focus of this research is improving our understanding of lemurs’ unique adaptations (compared to other primates), which might be linked to ecological conditions in Madagascar. The second major focus is examining lemurs’ range of habitat tolerances and their ecological and behavioral responses to habitat disturbance and fragmentation.

My main focus has been on the diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema) but other aspects of my research have focused on the lemur community and my group is expanding to focus on bamboo lemurs (Hapalemur griseus) and brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus).

Research Supported by Sadabe

My research complements and is facilitated by Sadabe, an organization working in Madagascar.

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Sadabe

Sadabe logo.

Sadabe

What We Do

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt Sadabe we seek to develop novel and innovative ways to promote the coexistence of people and wildlife in Tsinjoarivo (central Madagascar), and elsewhere where humans and wildlife come into conflict. Sadabe, is the local name for the diademed sifaka, and it literally means “multicolored” and “big”. The organisation is as colorful as the lemur after which is it named.

Registered in 2009 as a Malagasy nonprofit, we were founded with several unique but synergistic guiding activities (research, education, conservation, and development). Nowadays, we are continuing to grow and work on the principle that conservation only works if you include the will and needs of local people, and deeply understand the ecosystem that you are trying to protect.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFunded by Funded by Conservation International, we founded the Mahatsinjo Reforestation Initiative starting in 2005. In collaboration with local government agencies and communities, we identified 12 areas that would be suitable for reforestation efforts. As a result of this project, over 55,000 trees were planted, more than 40 individuals were given part-time employment, and 7 habitat corridors were created which aimed to connect different forest patches with each other. These corridors now help lemurs and other animals to travel between the forest patches and increase their ability to resist the negative impacts of local agriculture and other threats.

IMG_0930What Lemur Species We Protect

We’ve been undertaking extensive research programming since 2000 in the Mahatsinjo region on the following species:

  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus)
  • Dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus sp.)

How We Support Local Communities

Throughout our research and programming, we have aimed to solve problems by consensus, with strong voices from Malagasy scientists, government officials, our employees, and community members at many levels.

For example, we work in concert with local communities in central Madagascar (Tsinjoarivo) and also partners with two local organizations: Maitsoanala (a research and tourism guides’ association) and Taratra Reny sy Zaza (an association of midwives and women focusing on women’s and children’s health). Sustainability is a key pillar of all past and planned activities.

DSC02632Social development

As part of Sadabe’s ongoing commitment to social development, we have worked on both education and healthcare programming. We facilitated the donation and staffing of an elementary school near our study site (in Mahatsinjo); this school was the first public school in the area and increased the likelihood that students would be able to receive a minimum level of education. The organization continues to undertake several outreach and educational activities in this and other communities that have reached thousands of individuals, including an English-language program and t-shirt giveaways. Some of Sadabe’s education programming was conducted in partnership with the Madagascar Ankizy Fund.

In regards to healthcare development, Sadabe facilitated (in partnership with the Madagascar Ankizy Fund) the provision of dental care services to hundreds of individuals. Without these services, these communities would have had to travel over 75 kilometers just to visit a dentist.

Capacity Building

We provide training for both foreign and Malagasy university students. This helps build capacity in the next generation of scientists, and allows them to get an up-close and in-person look at what is takes to research and conserve endangered lemur species. In addition, we have worked with local communities to teach them English and French and help them learn how to become tourism guides.

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Aspinall Foundation

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What We Do

Aspinall Foundation working with local community associations.

Aspinall Foundation working with local community associations.

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

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

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

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

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

What Lemur Species We Protect

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

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

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

Greater Bamboo Lemurs (Prolemur simus)

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

Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata)

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

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

How We Support Local Communities

Reforestation project.

One of the reforestation projects managed by The Aspinall Foundation.

Partnering with local communities

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

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

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

Lemur notebook distribution by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

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