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Ellie Dobbs in Madagascar with a chameleon

On the Ground in Madagascar with Ellie Dobbs: Researching Aye-Aye Taboos

We interview Ellie Dobbs, a Masters student in Conservation Biology at the University of Kent. Her research studies the variations in perceptions and taboos about aye-ayes in Madagascar. Her undergraduate dissertation is titled “The Aye-Aye Enigma: Analysing the variation in attitudes, beliefs, and customary institutions pertaining to the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)”. She aimed to deduce existing patterns in attitudes and highlight drivers for these attitudes and perceptions. What is your background, and how did you find yourself studying the lemurs […]

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Indri

Exploring the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic: How Resilient Were Conservation Organisations in Madagascar?

In this post, we learn from Susan Lawrance and Dr. Giuseppe Donati about their recent research on the impact of Covid-19 on conservation projects in Madagascar. Susan Lawrance is from the UK and has just completed an MSc in Primate Conservation. She would like to thank LCN members for giving their time to participate in this study. Dr Giuseppe Donati is a Reader in Primatology. Over the last twenty years he has conducted research on behaviour, ecology, and conservation of […]

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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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