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Bristol Zoological Society

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What We Do

Bristol Zoological Society Pierre Lepi 1Bristol Zoological Society saves wildlife through conservation action and engaging people with the natural world. We currently focus efforts on the Sahamalaza peninsula of northwestern Madagascar. We are working together with other European zoos to protect the last remaining populations of two critically endangered lemur species, the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) and the Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis).

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We raise awareness of the threats facing lemurs at the regional, national, and international level. For example, the zoological society worked with the government to create the Sahamalza Iles Radama National Park. In addition, the BZS Director of Conservation, Dr. Christoph Schwitzer, is the editor of Lemur News, an online and publicly available newsletter that connects the research and conservation community. In addition, the BZS has led the publication of several highly-visible articles, which effectively called attention to the plight of lemurs in Madagascar.

Some of these publications include:

Schwitzer et al. (2014) Protecting lemurs – response. Science. 344: 358
Schwitzer et al. (2014) Averting lemur extinctions amid Madagascar’s political crisis. Science. 343: 842-843

What Lemur Species We Protect

  • Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons)
  • Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis)
  • Sambirano mouse lemur (Microcebus sambiranensis)
  • Northern giant mouse lemur (Mirza zaza)

How We Support Local Communities

Bristol Zoological Society Felicia inspecting Lepilemur pooThe Bristol Zoological Society actively engages with the public and scientific community, sharing knowledge, eliciting support, and guiding behavior change. We apply specialist skills to investigate conservation problems and to guide and support local communities in tackling environmental issues.

We work to improve the conservation status of target lemur species both through direct research and by supporting local NGOs in the region. As one of the core partners in the AEECL (Association Europeenne pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lemuriens), we contribute to education in local communities by helping to employ 60 teachers in 37 villages and providing conservation education teaching materials.

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Lemur Love, Inc.

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What We Do

At Lemur Love we conduct scientific research and ​partner with Malagasy women to build capacity and promote conservation. We believe in leveraging both the heart and the mind in the movement to preserve Madagascar’s unique and endangered primates, the lemurs.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Our goal is to ensure lemurs and their forest homes are protected and thriving, through the power of women, ​science, and our extended global ‘troop’. We envision a world where both lemurs and humans are able to live alongside each other and thrive.

What Lemur Species We Protect

We conduct and disseminate scientific long-term research on Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations in the northern portion of Tsimanampesotse. Moreover, along with our partners at the Pet Lemur Survey, we are committed to understanding the legal and illegal trades of wild lemurs through current and upcoming projects.

How We Support Local Communities

Lemur Love believes in investing in women, often underrepresented in both science and on the ground conservation leadership. Malagasy women possess unique insights and local knowledge that are crucial to devising robust solutions that will protect lemurs in the future. Lemur Love is collaborating with Ikala STEM, a women-led association that aims to promote education and science and to raise the profile of women in STEM in Madagascar.

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Mikajy Natiora

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What We Do

Outreach Mikajy Natiora

Mikajy Natiora undertaking outreach in a local school.

Mikajy Natiora protects Madagascar’s endemic biodiversity by combining ecological research and local community involvement. We currently focus our work on northwest Madagascar in the region surrounding the Sahamalaza Iles Radama National Park. We are funded by several foundations including the Van Tienhoven Foundation for International Nature Protection, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and the Rufford Foundation.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We work to conserve lemurs by conducting research and maintaining updated information about endangered lemur populations at our study site in northwest Madagascar.

The local community also receives education from our organisation which is crucial to raising awareness of the importance of conserving lemurs and their forest habitat.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Carnival Mikajy Natiora

Mikajy Natiora participating in a local environmentally-themed carnival.

Species we protect include the Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons), the only primate in the world with blue eyes, which is estimated to go extinct in the next decade unless drastic measures are taken to conserve the species.

In addition, Mikajy Natiora collects information about the:

  • Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis)
  • Sambirano mouse lemur (Microcebus sambiranensis)
  • Fork marked dwarf lemur (Phaner furcifer)
  • Western gentle lemur (Hapalemur griseus occidentalis)

How We Support Local Communities

At Mikajy Natiora we always inform local communities when we’re going to conduct activities in the vicinity by using public meetings to explain the objectives of our work. In addition, we deliver several education and outreach programs to supplement our research-based approach.

Mikajy Natiora

Mikajy Natiora staff!

Education, outreach, and training

We’ve been conducting regular education and outreach programs on the lemurs of the Sahamalaza-Iles Radama National Park since 2013. The objectives of this outreach are to increase the local communities’ awareness about the need and the importance of the conservation of the lemurs and their forest habitat.

In addition, we train park rangers and local stakeholders to increase their knowledge about biodiversity and their skills in managing and interacting with the local ecosystem sustainably.

Providing alternative livelihoods to communities

At Mikajy Natiora we’re implementing programs that allow communities to develop new sources of income that help decrease the need for humans to use the local forests for survival.

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Conservation Fusion

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What We Do

Conservation Fusion connects communities across the world through innovative education programs that promote conservation actions. The organization currently focuses its efforts in Madagascar where it partners with research-oriented organizations – including the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership – to undertake education outreach programs. Conservation Fusion has ongoing programs in northern (Antsiranana region), eastern (Analmazaotra and Kianjavato), and southern Madagascar (Lavavolo).

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We protect lemurs by raising awareness of lemur species and their conservation at four sites in southern Madagascar.

Aye-aye puppets L. septentrionalis project

What Lemur Species We Protect

Conservation Fusion help to protect the following species of lemur:

  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata)
  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)
  • Northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis)
  • Verreaux’s sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi)

How We Support Local Communities

Our greatest successes have come from the relationships and collaborations that we have forged with researchers, local communities, and organizations who aim to complement Conservation Fusion’s education programs and vision.
Conservation fusion 2 Conservation Fusion continues education-based programming; our work in southern Madagascar is just one of the many initiatives being undertaken to raise awareness in-country. Here we focus on raising awareness of radiated tortoises, ring-tailed lemurs, and sifaka in the dry spiny forests of Lavavolo in southern Madagascar. Outreach programs – which have been implemented for over three years – consist of hands-on activities with the local villages and schools and include: community gardens, agriculture training, workshops on using fuel-efficient Rocket Stove, and a junior researcher day.

Conservation Festival Conservation fusion

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Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group

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What We Do

IMG_1543Our organisation, the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group (MFG) unites zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, universities and related conservation organizations worldwide to conserve the wildlife of Madagascar. With the help of our many partners, and thanks to the membership dues that these organizations provide, MFG manages Parc Ivoloina (a 282 hectare area) and the Rendrirendry Research Station at the Betampona Natural Reserve, both of which are in eastern Madagascar.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Starting in 2008, we received funding to undertake reforestation efforts in the region surrounding our project sites. The goals of this project were to work with local communities to replant trees in a 2 kilometer radius around the Betampona National Reserve. These reforestation efforts help to replenish habitat for lemurs and preserve the wider ecosystem, for the future.Varecia

We manage a 4-hectare zoological park within the larger Parc Ivoloina, where rescued and confiscated lemurs are kept in captivity until they can be released back into the wild. We also facilitate the success of captive breeding programs both in Madagascar and in partnership with programs in the United States. For example, the zoo has an established captive breeding program for Greater Bamboo lemurs and we have facilitated the first releases of captive-born black-and-white ruffed lemurs in the Betampona Nature Reserve; lemurs which had been raised by the Duke Lemur Center in the United States.

What Lemur Species We Protect

At MFG we have active research programs at our study sites in eastern Madagascar. These include research and conservation efforts aimed at helping the following species:

  • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata)
  • Black lemur (Eulemur macaco)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Indri (Indri indri)
  • Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema)

How We Support Local Communities

Capacity building

IMG_1518At MFG we are passionate about mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in Madagascar. We teach classes, and organize workshops that are aimed at providing hands-on training in a variety of disciplines. The support we provide also involves work with farmers to improve their food production levels, and with teachers to improve how active learning strategies are incorporated in the classroom.

Environmental Education

IMG_4049The MFG has a long history of undertaking environmental education projects. In 1995, we launched our Saturday School program at the Parc Ivoloina, which was designed to enhance the zoo’s education programs and discourage the acquisition of lemurs as pets.In 1997 we supplemented this program by training teachers on incorporating environmental education into the everyday school curriculum; this work resulted in the production of a 65-page manual entitled, “A practical guide for the teacher: the application of environmental education in primary school instruction.”

Over the years, these educational programs have been expanded to include both middle and high schoolers. We even provide training to elected officials in the local villages. Many of these training opportunities take place in the Ivoloina Conservation Training Center, a facility that includes a meeting room, library, and laboratory.

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Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP)

Madagascar Biodiversity Paternship log

What We Do

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Dr. Louis, Shelia Holmes and Varecia_ HHamilton

Dr. Louis and Sheila Holmes collecting data from a lemur.

At Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP) we work with communities on comprehensive research and conservation programming.

MBP was founded in 2010 by Dr. Edward E. Louis Jr., Director of Conservation Genetics at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (OHDZA) who has been working in Madagascar since 1998. Here at MBP we strive to protect local forests for the lemurs while sustainably raising the standard of living for communities who are equally reliant upon the natural resources. Believing that everything is connected, or “Mampifandray ny tontolo”, MBP incorporates research, education and community involvement to achieve sustainability.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Research and Lemur Monitoring

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Baby Lepilemur septentrionalis_EE Louis Jr

A baby Lepilemur septentrionalis being examined.

At MBP we have pioneering research on the northern sportive lemurs, whose populations are incredibly small (less than 50 individuals remaining) and who cannot be kept in captivity. In addition, and together with the Malagasy government, we have helped re-establish the diademed sifaka and the black-and-white ruffed lemur to their historical ranges in the Analamazoatra Special Reserve.These populations are now monitored by our team year-round. Finally, we use radio collars and other innovative technology to track lemur populations; this helps increase understanding of how different species use different types of habitat and how conservation programs can effectively protect lemurs in the future.

Reforesting Habitat

We are proud to help lead reforestation efforts in Madagascar, and undertake programming in west (Andasibe, Kianjavato) and southern Madagascar (Lavavolo). We also undertake reforestation initiatives in the areas where it is working to distribute fuel-efficient cook stoves in northern Madagascar.

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Nore teaching planting techniques_HHamilton

Teaching planting techniques in rural Madagascar.

Our largest reforestation programming is based in Kianjavato and is called the Education Promoting Reforestation Project (EPRP). This program’s success is based on the fact that seeds which have passed through a lemur’s intestinal tract grow better than seeds that haven’t. By collecting the seeds in lemur poop, we’ve been able to plant over 6 million trees!

This program, and the associated community education and outreach efforts, have been so successful that they were featured on National Public Radio in the United States and in other media outlets worldwide.

What Lemur Species We Protect

MBP works across the country to support research and outreach related to several different lemur species, including:

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Prolemur simus eating bamboo_ BEnyart

Prolemur simus eating some bamboo.

  • Aye aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata)
  • Crowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus)
  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus
  • Northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis)
  • Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)

How We Support Local Communities

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership Member of Single mothers Club planting trees_HHamilton

A member of Single Mothers Club planting trees.

Madagascar has a young and growing population that is increasingly reliant upon the country’s dwindling natural resources. Despite the precarious conditions, there is room for hope. The MBP has initiated multiple community-based conservation efforts and development plans designed to rebalance the relationship between people and the ecosystem; many of our community outreach efforts are conducted together with Conservation Fusion.

Fuel-efficient cook stoves

In partnership with the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and with Conservation Fusion, MBP is undertaking work to reduce the use of charcoal in some areas of Madagascar. Charcoal production, which causes large areas of forest to be cut down in Madagascar and is often unsustainable, is a big threat to lemur populations. We have distributed over 100 fuel-efficient cooking stoves and supplements these with hands-on education programs and reforestation initiatives.

Aquaponics development

Aquaponics is a sustainable food production method that combines techniques used to raise fish for food and hydroponics methods for growing plants in liquid mediums. Properly balanced aquaponics systems can provide large amounts of food, which is important in areas of Madagascar where families are food insecure, meaning, in areas where families do not have access to the food that they need, when they need it. We’ve partnered with a Omaha-based aquaponics nonprofit to undertake pilot programs which will help fine-tune the implementation of this type of equipment on-the-ground in Madagascar.

Capacity building

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership EPP Kianjavato students with trees_HHamilton

Students from the Kianjavato public school students with trees.

As part of our ongoing research programs, over 50 Malagasy doctorate and graduate students, 30 Malagasy undergraduate students, and 10 international students have received considerable training in research methods and conservation paradigms. For example, through the MBP’s role in helping to re-establish lemur populations in the Analamazoatra Special Reserve, students and local communities have received training on how to monitor these new populations and how re-establishment programs must be designed in order to be successful.

In addition, we support 80+ full-time Malagasy employees as field assistants, project supervisors, office employees, and supporting staff members.

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AEECL

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What We Do

A female Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons).

A female Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons).

AEECL focuses conservation efforts in northwest Madagascar through innovative capacity building, community outreach, and on-the-ground research programs. We have been conducting community-based conservation programs on the Sahamalaza Peninsula since 2000. We support lemur conservation by maintaining and strengthening natural habitat and improving how that habitat is used by humans. Additionally, AEECL advances the understanding and conservation of Madagascar’s lemurs through scientific research and captive breeding.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Reforestation

We work with local communities to conduct community-based reforestation. AEECL’s programs planted over 111,000 trees around 14 villages in 2013 alone, involving local schools. Once the trees are planted, an association of gardeners monitors the survival of saplings and re-plants trees if necessary.

Constructing a fire break with the help of local communities.

Constructing a fire break with the help of local communities.

Patrolling Forests

We work with six local park committees to help patrol the forests in the national park. In 2013, these local park controls completed 300 patrol days.

Protecting Forests From Wildfires

Lastly, we work with local partners to organize community volunteers to build a 7 kilometer-long firebreak to protect the forest from the spread of wild fires. The community turn-out for yearly construction of the firebreak is extremely large—larger than many other community events in the region.

What Lemur Species We Protect

AEECL is heavily focused on the Sahamalaza Peninsula which is home to several lemur species, including:

  • Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons)
  • Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis)

How We Support Local Communities

We see community collaboration as key to supporting and protecting the wildlife and habitat within the Sahamalaza National Park.

World Environment Day parade with local authorities.

World Environment Day parade with local authorities.

Eco-tourism

Since 2013, we’ve been working with local communities to increase local capacity to accommodate tourists by building several key facilities, including housing and solar paneling.

In addition, we train members of the local community to become tourist guides. We also created a guide association, which advocates for the guides and organizes tourist group visits. Guide training helps local community members improve their french and increase their knowledge of the local ecosystem and lemur species, thus helping them to become ambassadors for Madagascar’s environment.

Social Development

We have been working in education outreach since 2012, including much-needed school construction and renovation programs which impacted thirteen schools in the perimeter of the Sahamalaza National Park. We also subsidize the salaries of 60 school teachers, impacting over 2,000 students.

We have improved sanitation, hygiene, and health through the construction of six water wells in the surrounding communities. The construction of these wells is extremely important because water shortages have become increasingly common.

Reforestation outreach in rural Malagasy communities.

Reforestation outreach in rural Malagasy communities.

Environmental Outreach

We also work on a variety of local environmental awareness initiatives, organizing activities for World Environment Day and the World Lemur Festival. Activities are planned to increase environmental awareness, including parades, speeches, radio quizzes, sports events, and community dance events.

We help fund and organize the Lampogno Festival, a fun 4-day event about how food availability and habitat conservation are connected using films, children’s activities, speeches, and even a song contest.

 

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Pennsylvania State University

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About the Perry Lab at Penn State

The Perry lab studies lemur evolutionary ecology and the history of human-lemur interactions in Madagascar using genomic-based methods, including nuclear genome sequencing and analysis.

We also have an ancient DNA lab for sequencing the complete mitochondrial and even nuclear genomes of the recently extinct, giant ‘subfossil’ lemurs. These data are used to to reconstruct aspects of their behavioral ecology and to make conservation-minded comparisons to the surviving lemur species.

Finally, as a complement to our lemur work, we have initiated population genomic studies of the people of Madagascar in order to describe the pattern and rate of the population size increase and better characterize the interesting origin and evolutionary history of the Malagasy. Several of these projects are led by graduate students at the University of Antananarivo.

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