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Image of Rhombophryne vaventy - the first frog species Mark described

On the Ground in Madagascar with Dr. Mark D. Scherz

Can you describe your role as an evolutionary biologist? What animals do you study? I study the evolution of biological diversity, which includes everything from the process of speciation to the evolution of form and function. I do this mostly in the reptiles and amphibians of Madagascar. These groups are incredibly diverse, and, because the island has been isolated for such a long time, are also globally unique. This makes the herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) of Madagascar an excellent study […]

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Silky sifaka photo captured by a camera trap courtesy of Lemur Conservation Foundation and Patrick Ross.

On the Ground in Madagascar with Patrick Ross: Gathering Data with Camera Traps

Tell us about your background in lemur research. I am a senior undergraduate student in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University, graduating in December 2019. I first got interested in conserving Madagascar’s rainforests through working on breaks from school at the Duke Lemur Center. You recently returned from Anjanaharibe Sud Special Reserve in northeast Madagascar. Can you tell us more about this reserve? Anjanaharibe Sud Special Reserve is an incredible place. It is lush, with life booming all around. Thought […]

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Author Katie Grogan with lemur catta

Studying lemurs goes beyond the love for them – It’s also about love for the whole forest.

As a scientist and conservationist, I love best those moments when knowledge from many projects come together to tell us something critical to our understanding of the natural world, with far-reaching consequences for wildlife and conservation. One such study was published early this year in the science journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Sarah Federman and colleagues, and has such far reaching implications that it was covered in Smithsonian Magazine, IFLS, and the Huffington Post, to […]

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Silky Sifaka mother and child. Photo: Jeffrey Gibbs.

A Look at Lemur Conservation Foundation’s Work in Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve

In a recent post, we chatted with Zoological Manager Caitlin Kenney about the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s work in the United States at their lemur reserve in Florida. Today, we talk with Dr. Erik Patel, LCF’s Conservation Program Director, about LCF’s work protecting the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve (ASSR) in the SAVA region of northeastern Madagascar. We’ll be discussing what makes ASSR unique, why it needs to be protected, and the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s work in this region. About the success of […]

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bushmeat trade

The Urban Bushmeat Trade in Madagascar: A New Emerging Threat

  “What kind of meat have you eaten in the last three days?” “Have you ever eaten lemur meat?” “What kind of fadys (taboos) do you have against meat?” Imagine asking these questions almost 2,000 times to complete strangers across 21 cities and villages across Madagascar; if you’d been asked, what kind of response would you have given? If you happened to be one of the Malagasy interviewees that my research team spoke to in 2013, you might have said […]

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Seheno with the two representatives from ONTM at their February meeting.

Lemur Conservation Community Secures Meeting with Office of National Tourism of Madagascar

Several months ago, the Office of National Tourism of Madagascar (ONTM) launched a campaign to promote travel in Madagascar by asking tourists to share photos of themselves holding captive lemurs. Maurice Adiba, the president of the NGO Reniala and Kim Reuter, a Technical Director at Conservation International and founder of the Pet Lemur Survey (read more about Kim’s research on pet lemurs in Madagascar in this previous blog post: https://lemurconservationnetwork.org/on-the-ground-kim-reuter/), alerted the ONTM about the negative impacts this campaign could […]

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Jen Tinsman

On the Ground in Madagascar with Jen Tinsman

  When did you first get interested in working with lemurs and conservation and what motivated you to undertake this work? I stumbled into lemur research by accident. I’d gotten a grant from the Biology Department to study social behavior and I was supposed to do research on tree swallows but that opportunity fell through, so I was nervously drifting around the department, trying to come up with a new project. Then Alison Jolly came and gave a talk to […]

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