Ala is an innovative reforestation project strives to protect the future of lemur populations in south east Madagascar. About SEED Madagascar Operating in the Anosy region of southeast Madagascar, charity SEED Madagascar has been dedicated to improving human and ecological communities through development projects since 2000. Complimenting this, SEED also has an array of environmental initiatives which not only mitigate human impact on fragile habitats but consider the people that depend on these natural resources for daily needs. Threats to […]
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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 collaris; Hapalemur meridionalis; Avahi 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.
We are a group of ecologists interested in tropical ecology and conservation biology. Our work focuses on evolutionary, population, and community ecology and is often applied to conservation issues in tropical rainforests including Madagascar.
We have a strong focus on understanding population and community level consequences of lemurs to anthropogenic change and understanding the role of lemurs in the ecosystem and potential consequences of their loss.
We are involved in capacity building in the field of environmental conservation in Madagascar by training Malagasy graduate and undergraduate students through advising, research training, and in-country workshops.
We have also trained several local field technicians in both primatological methods and botanical studies. Members of our group have also been involved with environmental education in the Ranomafana region.