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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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Halt Poverty Madagascar

What We Do

At Halt Poverty Madagascar we work on empowering the people of Madagascar through sustainable development, focused on eco-tourism.

Halt Poverty Madagascar was launched in November 2015 to address the clearing of local forests and the high rate of unemployment within the regions of Fianarantsoa: Amoron’i Mania, Ihorombe, Mahatsiatra Ambony, Vatovavy Fitovinany

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

By improving living standards for communities in Madagascar through training in ecotourism and sustainable livelihoods we are working to reduce poverty and the need for overconsumption of natural forest resources to meet urgent needs. This in turn helps to prevent lemur habitat destruction and degradation as a result of overconsumption.

How We Support Local Communities

We provide training for the community to improve the quality of Madagascar’s tourism workforce. We hope to increase the number of skilled people involved in hospitality, tourism, and tour guiding to better align with international and sustainable standards. Our training is focused on improving language skills, cross-cultural communication and other tourism-related competencies so that people are brought out of poverty by work in tourism, and value sustainable environmental practices.

We achieve this goal through initiatives that:

  • Contribute to environmental protection through eco clubs which promote sustainable practices amongst communities
  • Encourage local people to tackle deforestation
  • Use tourism to provide people with means of escaping the heavy dependence on threatened natural resources.
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Conservation International

Conservation International Madagascar

What We Do

For more than 25 years, Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of human wellbeing. Thanks to the help of our 900 person staff, we now reach communities in over 30 countries to help build a healthier, more prosperous, and more productive planet.

CI’s impact on lemur and environmental conservation in Madagascar is achieved through on-the-ground work and through research, publication, and grant-giving initiatives at the international level.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

CI has been working on a variety of programs in Madagascar since 1980 including biodiversity protection, environmental policy, and community programs. At the international level, CI’s Primate Action Fund—in partnership with the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation—has contributed to global biodiversity conservation by providing strategically targeted, catalytic support for the conservation of endangered nonhuman primates and their natural habitats for over ten years. In addition, CI is well known for its role in publishing newsletters, journals, and books that aim to connect field researchers, conservationists, and captive-care professionals. Notably, CI was a key supporter and financier of the Lemur Action Plan; the document around which this website was built.
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Other CI publications include:

  • The Tropical Field Guide series, which includes Lemurs of Madagascar and various other pocket guides
  • Primate Conservation, an open access scientific journal which publishes in-depth articles of interest to primate conservationists
  • Dozens of articles, reports, and scientific manuscripts published by CI employees about their work in Madagascar and across sub-Saharan Africa more broadly

In addition to working on-the-ground in Madagascar, CI develops the tools needed by governments and NGOs around the world to combat habitat degradation. One example of this, is Firecast, which is a fully automated analysis and alert system that uses satellite image technology to provide real time updates about active fires and fire risks to users around the world. This technology has been used in Madagascar to analyze fire risk in the country’s national parks, and helps track where fires are most likely to occur and when.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Through the Primate Action Fund, CI has helped fund conservation programs for dozens of lemur species, including everything from basic research on the northern sportive lemur (which has less than 50 individuals left in the wild) to the impacts of cyclones on black-and-white-ruffed lemurs in eastern Malagasy rainforests. In addition, the organization’s work on the ground (such as in the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor – one of the largest vestiges of dense rainforest in the country) has impacted well over thirty species.

How We Support Local Communities

Conservation International
In Madagascar, CI works closely with local communities to increase its impact by providing financial and technical support, building capacity, and supporting strategies of development towards a green economy. Financial support is provided both by headquarters – through the Primate Action Fund and via other initiatives – and by programs managed by country-level staff.

For example, the Node Small Grants Program awarded small subsidies to local communities in order to provide economic incentives for conservation programming. This enabled communities to undertake environmental conservation activities while improving local livelihoods. This program funded 316 micro-projects benefiting over 7700 households in six sites around Madagascar through 11 partner organizations.

Conservation International

Another example, CI’s Project Tokantrano Salama brought family planning services, access to drinking water, and sanitation services to areas in Madagascar with high biodiversity. Coupled with environmental education, this program aimed to decrease the impact on natural areas and to increase human wellbeing.

Finally, CI has worked—and continues to work—with local communities on a variety of eco-tourism projects. In the past, they helped build the capacity for communities to manage parcels of forest (100 to 2500 hectare) in eastern Madagascar. This project aimed to impact over 74,000 people in 23 towns along the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor, a 384,000 ha forest that contains vast amounts of Madagascar’s biodiversity.

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WWF Madagascar

WWF The Panda logo

WWF Madagascar has been paving the way for lemur conservation in Madagascar for over half a century.

Supporting lemur conservation since 1964 with on-the-ground work in Madagascar

WWF Madagascar has been at the forefront of lemur conservation in Madagascar for over fifty years. Their first ever project involved setting up a small reserve dedicated to the protection and prosperity of the Aye-aye, leading to the creation of the Nosy Mangabe special reserve. Since then, lemurs have remained some the organization’s priority species at their project sites across the island.

What lemur species does WWF Madagascar protect?

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An Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

Over the years, WWF Madagascar has been key to the protection of many different lemur species. Nowadays – and alongside ongoing projects to protect numerous lemur species – WWF’s strategy (Fiscal years 2012 to 2016) identifies the Silky simpona (Propithecus candidus) as one of their flagship species for the Northern Forest Landscape, the largest remaining stand of humid forest in Madagascar. In 2011, WWF – in collaboration with Dr. Erik Patel (now at the Lemur Conservation Foundation), and international expert on the Silky simpona – conducted a vulnerability analysis on this species; the first of its kind.

This groundbreaking research – which helps conservationists understand more about the different threats facing a species – was expanded in 2012 in collaboration with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and again in 2014 with the help of GERP. This research now helps scientists and organizations better plan their conservation programs.

WWF Madagascar is currently performing fieldwork to collect vulnerability data and information on species viability. This project began in December 2014 and will be followed by updates of the Vulnerability Analysis (VA) until the end of 2017. The aim is to understand the factors that render the Silky simpona vulnerable in order to start implementing adapted management measures that will help the species to face future climate and non-climate pressures.

How is WWF Madagascar protecting habitat for lemur conservation?

WWF Verreuaxi Viktor Nikkiforov

Verreaux’s Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi).

WWF has been, and continues to be involved in, the establishment and management of many protected areas across Madagascar, which serve to conserve and protect threatened habitats for many lemur species as well as a wide variety of other flora and fauna. In addition, WWF Madagascar carries out a range of actions in Madagascar aimed at protecting habitat. For example, in the Northern Forest Landscape, WWF trains and equips local communities to perform forest patrols. One of the functions of the patrols is to collect information on species locations and populations. Both the presence of the patrols and the data they collect are being used to combat poaching of lemurs and other animal species.

WWF are currently working on habitat protection issues across Madagascar in many sites, including: Marojejy, Kirindy Mitea, Tsimanampesotoe, Amoron’i Onilahy, Ankodida, Corridor Marojejy Tsaratanana, Anjanaharibe Sud, Nord Ifotaka, and Ranobe PK 32.

Influencing environmental policy to help lemurs

WWF Photo2_catégorie1_Ichiyama_ANTANANARIVOWWF Madagascar, and WWF as a whole, are able to raise awareness of the threats facing lemurs at the national and international level. An example of the positive impacts of their work include WWF’s debt-for-nature concept, which pioneered the idea that a nation’s debt could be bought in exchange for in-country conservation programming. WWF has used this program to generate over $50 million (USD) of funding in Madagascar for conservation from 1989 to 2008. In addition, WWF Madagascar was a key facilitator in the First International Conference on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in Madagascar; this meeting was the foundation of the National Environmental Action Plan that was later implemented in Madagascar in the 1980s.

Partnering with local communities

WWF puts local communities at the center of their conservation projects. Local communities that live closest to valuable, fragile lemur habitats are pivotal to the success of lemur conservation because they are the ones interacting with, living in and depending on the forests and species on a daily basis.

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WWF Madagascar’s team working in Andapa.

WWF manages a wide array of social development programming; in the past, the organization has developing eco-tourism projects, designed public health programs, and even worked with the Malagasy government to create eco-labels for Malagasy shrimp which are traded on the international market through the shrimp aquaculture industry.

Local conservation management

In the Northern Forest Landscape, a green belt composed of 39 community-based managed areas is currently being established around the newly created protected area of COMATSA (245,000 ha). Each area managed by local communities first undergoes a zoning process and then local management plans are developed. As the Silky simpona is a flagship species for the entire area, activities related to its conservation and resilience building will be developed for the protected areas as well as for all the community-managed areas where the species is present.

Environmental education

Since 1987, WWF Madagascar has been growing its environmental education program, in collaboration with the Malagasy Ministry of Education. The program now has 515 student clubs across 46 districts in Madagascar and impacts over 50,000 students in the country. In addition, the program also prints the Vintsy Magazine – an environmentally focused publication – which has been in print for 64 issues.

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Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (American Friends of Durrell)

Durrell Conservation AFD

What We Do

Durrell Conservation Lee Durrell releasing ploughshare tortoises in 2011

Lee Durrell releasing ploughshare tortoises in 2011.

American Friends of Durrell promotes and supports the work of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (DWCT), a British wildlife charity established in 1963 by author and conservationist, Gerald Durrell. DWCT’s mission is to save species from extinction.

In Madagascar, the DWCT has been undertaking conservation actions for species and habitats since 1983. It has pioneered efforts for breeding and release-to-the wild of critically endangered species, for protecting vulnerable habitats and for enabling and empowering local communities to manage their natural environments sustainably. DWCT’s Madagascar Program employs approximately 30 people, mostly Malagasy nationals, and operates at eight sites. Lemurs are flagship species for two of the sites where the DWCT works: the Alaotran gentle lemur at Lac Alaotra and the black and white ruffed lemur at Manombo.

The American Friends of Durrell currently contribute to two of DWCT’s projects: (1) the Alison Jolly Madagascar Scholarship; and (2) the Madagascar Program Management and Coordination fund, which essentially covers the core costs of DWCT’s work in Madagascar. In the future, the American Friends of Durrell will likely increase their funding of the organization’s programs, especially as it relates to lemur conservation.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Durrell Conservation Alaotran gentle lemurs

Alaotran gentle lemurs.

Thanks to the help of the American Friends of Durrell, the DWCT in Madagascar has been able to achieve several landmark moments in lemur conservation. Notable successes include the establishment of a Ramsar Site for Lac Alaotra (East Madagascar) and a National Park at Baly Bay (West Madagascar).

What Lemur Species We Protect

Lemurs are flagship species for two of the sites where the DWCT works: the Alaotran gentle lemur (Hapalemur alaotrensis) at Lac Alaotra (East Madagascar) and the Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) at Manombo (Southeast Madagascar).

How We Support Local Communities

DWCT pioneered its approach to partnering with local communities in the early 1990s on the project to save the ploughshare tortoise of Madagascar. It was inspired and led by the late Lala Jean Rakotoniaina, who became DWCT’s Community Conservation Coordinator and a Disney Conservation Hero. Now all of DWCT’s work in Madagascar – and elsewhere in the world – is modeled on this approach, with local communities participating in management actions and ultimately taking on decisions concerning their natural resources. The empowerment of local communities helps increase the sustainability of programming, and therefore the viability of species and target habitats.

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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

Centre valbio wildlife

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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Oxford Brookes University

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Oxford Brookes University

About the Nocturnal Primate Research Group

As part of the Lemur Conservation Action Plan, we are among the leading groups in charge of developing research and conservation in the recently established protected area of Tsitongambarika (south-east corner of Madagascar). This area, where no systematic research has been conducted so far, is considered one of the Action Plan priorities and one of the last large expanses of lowland rainforest left in Madagascar.

Since 1995, we have been studying the proximate and ultimate determinants of day-night activity (aka cathemeral activity) in true lemurs. This activity pattern is extremely rare among primates but common in lemurs, thus offering the unique opportunity to study the key transition between nocturnal and diurnal life during primate evolution.

The lemur species and field sites where we conducted our work on cathemeral activity are:

  • Eulemur collaris and Hapalemur meridionalis in the littoral forests of Mandena and Sainte Luce (Fort Dauphin);
  • Lemur catta and Eulemur hybrids in the gallery forest of Berenty (Fort Dauphin); and
  • Eulemur rufifrons in the dry forest of Kirindy (Morondava).

At the first two sites we have ongoing programs of research.

Studying How Lemurs Respond to Changes in Food Availability and Habitat

A second main stream of our research is focusing on lemur response to change in food availability and habitat disturbance. Since most forested areas in Madagascar have been modified by humans, understanding how lemurs respond to habitat disturbance and/or how they cope with new habitats is urgent. This response is investigated at various levels including thermoregulation, activity and ranging pattern, diet composition and nutritional ecology.

This work uses as a model the archipelago of fragments of the south-eastern littoral forest where the entire lemur community (Eulemur collarisHapalemur meridionalisAvahi meridionalis; Cheirogaleus sp.; Microcebus sp.) has been studied since 1999.

Members of our research groups have also studied the behavioural ecology of Allocebus trichotis and Mirza zaza in Andasibe and Sahamalaza, respectively.

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SEED Madagascar

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SEED Madagascar

What We Do

SEED Madagascar's Conservation Programme team.

SEED Madagascar’s Conservation Programme team.

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

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

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Conducting Research to Preserve Sainte Luce Habitat

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

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

Nocturnal Lemur Research

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

What Lemur Species We Protect

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

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

How We Support Local Communities

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

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

Sustainable Livelihoods

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

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

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

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

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

Community Health

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

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

Education

Conservation education with children.

Conservation education with children.

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

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