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Cheirogaleus thomasi (Thomas' dwarf lemur)

Project Ala from SEED Madagascar

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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Oxford Brookes University

nprg_logoAbout 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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Rice University

Rice-UniversityAbout the Dunham Tropical Ecology and Conservation Group

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.

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Sainte Luce Reserve

Sainte Lucie Reserve

Sainte Luce Reserve volunteers help with sea turtle and lemur conservation programming and research.


The Sainte Luce Reserve Volunteer Experience

Would you like to support a small grass-roots registered non-profit that has clear goals, protects rare habitat, protects lemurs, and employs & trains local Malagasy people to take care of their biodiversity?

We hope that, if you are a lover of nature, a lover of lemurs, a lover of Madagascar and a lover of giving solid, life-changing support to young people in the developing world, that you will either come volunteer with us, or if you can’t get to Madagascar, please support our fundraiser here.

We are Association FILANA and we need your help.  We take care of five lemur species, from some of the smallest to some of the largest!

The Volunteer Experience


Length of volunteerism: 2 weeks to a maximum of 84 days.

Cost: The full 12-week program costs 2950 USD while shorter stays cost less with prices starting at 800 USD for a 2-week stay. More information about the cost of volunteerism can be found here!

Included in cost: All project-related land transport in Fort Dauphin and to-and-from research site, all meals from breakfast on day one to lunch on the last day of your project, basic training sufficient to enable you to participate in the project is provided, multi-lingual staff are there to assist during your entire time with the Sainte Luce Reserve, internet and communications equipment at their office in town for all project-related work, and all funds to realize your project. Various accommodation options are possible from camping in your own tent, to staying in one of our camping bungalows on the edge of the forest.


Not included in cost: Flights from your departure point to Fort Dauphin, alcoholic drinks or bottled water, restaurant meals, private entertainment, insurance, medical costs, medicines or evacuations, and consumables such as batteries.

Type of accommodation: Accommodation options vary depending on your choice, from camping to staying in purpose-built local-style bungalows.  You are supplied with your own little bungalow on the edge of the forest, equipped with a clean mattress with a freshly laundered cover, and a mosquito net.

Experience with volunteers: The Sainte Luce Reserve has over ten years experience managing volunteers in this part of Madagascar; safety is their number one priority, and they want you to have a really life-changing, satisfying  experience that provides real benefits to conservation too.

Volunteer Roles

General Conservation Interns, 2 week to 12 week program. 


The reserve is looking for dedicated amateur or professional conservationists to help manage the reserve, living full time at the reserve for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of twelve weeks, including orientation at their base in Fort Dauphin.  Your busy daily activity will be a mixture of activities including doing twice-daily lemur follows for habituation and gathering location data, monitoring sea turtles on the beach (in season), trail making, planting trees, tending the nursery, tending the vegetable gardens and fruit trees, planting mangroves, etc.  

Habituation of the reserve’s lemurs is vital work in the lead-up to formal research activity, because it enables scientists to find and study the animals more easily.  On occasions, you may also be assisting researchers to collect data.  During your time at the reserve, you will encounter lots of different wildlife.  Birdlife is abundant, there are five species of lemurs in the forest, and for herp lovers, you will no doubt encounter many beautiful leaf-tailed geckos, chameleons, and other reptiles.  

All volunteers also assist us in developing community conservation initiatives with the local community and there is always an exchange of skills between volunteers and locals, in terms of language, as a minimum.

We have a great mix of activities for people of all ages and all walks of life and our happy staff are there to help you acclimatise and achieve your maximum potential during your stay.



Donate to Sainte Luce Reserve & Association FILANA!

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