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Archive | Milne-Edwards’ sifaka

Ny Tanintsika

What We Do

Ny Tanintsika works to empower communities to conserve lemurs through a multifaceted approach that builds local capacity, addresses livelihoods concerns and promotes stakeholder collaboration and communication.

Lemurs are crucial to Madagascar’s rich and thriving biodiversity. The decline in lemur populations and the rapid extinction of a number of species, due to habitat loss and hunting, is jeopardising this biodiversity.

Currently, a number of forest communities hunt and eat lemurs as a primary source of protein in their diet, or keep them as pets. Although protection legislation exists, it is not widely known, understood nor enforced. Habitat loss due to forest in-migration for ‘slash and burn’ agriculture, deforestation and logging is an equally crucial factor in this project.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Whilst focusing on Golden Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur aureus) species, we are gathering data on all primates in the previously unresearched forests of Ambohimahamasina and three neighbouring areas. Data collection on lemurs is conducted by local stakeholders, and forest inhabitants will become lemur monitors to ensure project sustainability.

Additionally, 12 signs encouraging lemur conservation are being erected along Ambohimahamasina’s 3 main forest footpaths crossing to the eastern side of the forest ‘corridor’.

What Lemur Species We Protect

We target lemur taxa that are categorized as being Critically Endangered, and in a listed action plan locality site (the COFAV). The Lemur Conservation Strategy lists the COFAV as being home to 21 lemur taxa of which 6 are critically endangered, 7 endangered, 4 vulnerable, 1 near threatened and 3 data deficient.

COFAV has the highest number of lemur species of any protected area in Madagascar – of which a disproportionate number are in elevated threat categories. However, scientific research on biodiversity has largely been limited to national parks.

Threatened Species Targeted:

  • Golden Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur aureus): Critically Endangered C2a(i)

Other threatened species benefitting from the project:

  • Southern Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata ssp. editorum): Critically Endangered A2cd
  • Milne-Edward’s Sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi): Endangered A2cd+3cd+4cd
  • Gilbert’s Lesser Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur griseus ssp. gilberti): Endangered B1ab(i,iii)

How We Support Local Communities

Support is being given to forest inhabitants to make their lifestyles more sustainable, which is beneficial to human communities and nature. Agricultural production on deforested land is boosted through training on improved techniques, with 6 community tree nurseries operational to provide saplings for agroforestry, reforestation and forest restoration to meet both human and lemur needs. Numerous awareness-raising initiatives are combined with promotion of alternative sources of income and protein, including small-scale fish-farming and chicken-rearing, and the capacity-building of Community Forest Management associations to reduce lemur poaching and habitat loss.

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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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Centre ValBio & the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments

What We Do

Centre Valbio Ewing People Outside (1)

The Centre ValBio – a cutting-edge research station in Madagascar.

The Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE) was established by Dr. Patricia Wright in 1991 to encourage and promote scientific research, training and conservation in the tropics. We (together with Stony Brook University) maintain a state-of-the-art research station, Centre ValBio, adjacent to Ranomafana National Park in eastern Madagascar. This research station hosts hundreds of researchers, students, and eco-tourists each year; it is truly the only facility of its kind in the country.

Centre ValBio (CVB) was founded in 2003 and helps both indigenous people and the international community better understand the value of conservation in Madagascar and around the world.

Centre Valbio has three main objectives:

  1. To promote world-class research in one of the world’s most biologically diverse and unique ecosystems
  2. To encourage environmental conservation by developing ecologically sustainable economic development programs with local villages
  3. To provide the local villagers with the knowledge and tools to improve their quality of life through projects focused on sanitation, diet, and education, and ultimately reduce poverty in the area

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

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Wildlife in the Ranomafana National Park.

The Ranomafana National Park – which protects 41,500 hectares of rainforest – was created with the help of Dr. Patricia Wright, the founder of ICTE and Centre Valbio. Since the creation of this park, the organization has continued to help bring attention to the plight of lemurs and biodiversity in Madagascar at the regional, national, and international level.

Long-term research programs are a big priority for ICTE. We train scientists at all levels through field-based courses, collaborations, and academic exchanges. More than 400 scientific publications have directly resulted from work conducted in partnership with the Centre ValBio. In addition, we also conduct biodiversity research and ecological assessments of tropical ecosystems, and coordinate and catalog the work of over 800 natural and social scientists!

Successes at Centre ValBio include the translocation of three Greater bamboo lemur from a forest fragment to the national park, as well as the discovery of a thriving group in a nearby region!

What Lemur Species We Protect

The work of ICTE/Centre Valbio places particular emphasis on the region surrounding the Ranomafana National Park, in eastern Madagascar. This park is host to several lemur species, including:

  • Aye aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus)
  • Eastern wooly lemur (Avahi laniger)
  • Golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Milne-Edwards’ sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi)

How We Support Local Communities

Centre Valbio conservation programs

Centre ValBio’s conservation programs have also included reforestation and education initiatives.

One of the central missions of ICTE/Centre Valbio has been collaboration and partnerships with the local Malagasy community. We employ over 80 local Malagasy as guides and staff for the research station, and opened up opportunities for work in the park and surrounding areas. In addition to providing sustainable employment, Centre Valbio organizes multiple outreach programs in the fields of education, the arts, sustainable agriculture, and reforestation.

Conservation outreach

Centre ValBio leads outreach and public awareness programs that highlight the unique biodiversity of Madagascar; most of this is achieved through 15 conservation clubs spread across 22 villages that contain almost 500 members. Audiovisual and hands-on demonstrations are also used to deliver education on biodiversity and reforestation in 19 local schools. Centre ValBio and ICTE also support a range of education initiatives in the Ranomafana region.

Centre ValBio donates food to local community

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

Reforestation program

Centre ValBio undertakes educational outreach aimed at teaching the value of trees, not just for animals, but for clean water and erosion control as well. Reforestation initiatives have also targeted schools through their “from schools to the communities programs”, which has worked with 22 villages and 15 clubs on reforestation initiatives.

Health and hygiene

At Centre Valbio we work to improve the local communities’ nutritional conditions through education, implementation of infrastructure, and follow-up on improved sanitary practices. For example, we provide seeds and training for vegetable gardens to improve nutritional conditions in impoverished rural communities.

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