Lot II A 103 Nanisana, Antananarivo 101 Madagascar
+261 33 32 552 05

 impact.madagascar@gmail.com
Impact.Madagascar
 

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Ecological Research

Through our ecological research projects we aim to develop effective and sustainable conservation strategies, with a focus on species or habitats which are threatened with extinction. We believe that conservation should benefit both people and the environment, and so we work closely with local communities at each of our target sites.

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PROJECT FOTSIFE:

THE USE OF PLANTATIONS BY AVAHI MERIDIONALIS

Locations:

Mandena Conservation Zone, southeast Madagascar

A family of A. meridionalis at their daytime sleeping site.

A family of A. meridionalis at their daytime sleeping site.

  The endangered southern woolly lemur (Avahi meridionalis) is threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and area of habitat within its range. Endemic to the littoral forests of southeast Madagascar, deforestation in this region has led to severe habitat fragmentation. In 2017 we began fieldwork to investigate the habitat use of the southern woolly lemur, and in particular their use of plantations of fast-growing and non-native tree species.

Our activities in the field include a combination of behavioural observations, nocturnal point count surveys, and vegetation surveys. Findings of the study will be incorporated into in situ conservation strategies, with the specific aim of increasing the area and connectivity of habitat available to this little-known species.  Fieldwork was completed in June 2017, and we are excited to share our findings and full report with you later in the year. We are grateful for the continued support of The Rufford Foundation and Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund; without which, the realization of this project would not have been possible. 


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Sifaka Project

http://www.sifaka-conservation.org/

Locations:

MADIROMIRAFY (MAEVATANANA)

ANKIRIHITRA (AMBATOBOENY)

MAHAJEBY (TSIRONOMANDIDY)

We currently conduct a number of studies targeting the crowned sifaka (Propithecus coronatus) and its habitat. This program is carried out in cooperation with local partners and, in addition to ecological research, we have developed a community-based programme in which we provide local villages with the knowledge and skills to protect their environment.

Ecological scientific research, conducted by scientists and students, is carried out alongside participatory ecological monitoring, conducted by local people. We believe that this integrative approach is essential to ensure that conservation is both effective and sustainable.

Scientific research carried out at the site includes population demography surveys and behavioural observations; this helps us to understand the ability of the sifaka to cope with fragmented areas. In the meantime, it is vital that remaining forest fragments do not continue at their current rate of decline, and so we are now in the process of establishing New Protected Areas (NPA) at these sites. 


Eastern Woolly and Weasel Sportive Lemur Project

Locations:

Ambatovy Conservation Zone & Mantadia National Park

COMPLETE!  (April 2017)

L. mustelinus at sleeping in tree hole in Mantadia

L. mustelinus at sleeping in tree hole in Mantadia

The Alaotra-Mangoro region in eastern-central Madagascar is recognized for its high biodiversity. Sadly, forests here are under severe threat from slash-and-burn agriculture and the selective logging of trees by local people. Furthermore, this region has considerable natural resources, and in the area of Ambatovy (north of the district of Moramanga) large-scale mining activity is set to remove approximately 1,366 ha of forest.

In 2016, Impact Madagascar carried out research within the Ambatovy area and in the neighbouring primary forest of Mantadia National Park. Here, we sought to identify the impact of habitat disturbance on the behaviour and habitat use of the eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger) and weasel sportive lemur (Lepilemur mustelinus), and make recommendations for the conservation of these threatened species. Our activities in the field included behavioural observations, line transects, and vegetation surveys. Our results indicate that selective logging and removal of large size trees is detrimental to both species. In particular, the conservation of L. mustelinus is dependent on the availability of large and hollow trees which are used by the species as sleeping sites.

A. laniger at its sleeping site in Ambatovy.

A. laniger at its sleeping site in Ambatovy.

Based on our findings, we have made recommendations to local protected area managers to increase education and awareness of conservation and biodiversity with local communities in order to reduce pressure on natural resources. A full report on our findings will be available on our website later this year.


Southern Woolly Lemur Project

Coming soon!

The endangered southern woolly lemur (Avahi meridionalis) is threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and area of habitat within its range. Endemic to the littoral forests of southeast Madagascar, deforestation in this region has led to severe habitat fragmentation. We plan to study the habitat use of the southern woolly lemur, and in particular their use of eucalyptus plantations and man-made forest; the results will be incorporated into in situ conservation strategies, with the specific aim of increasing the area and connectivity of habitat available to this little-known species.


Sakalava Rail Project

Coming Soon!

The Sakalava Rail (Amaurornis olivieri) is a wetland bird endemic to western Madagascar. Due to its small and severely fragmented population, this species is classified as ‘Endangered’ and remaining populations are severely threatened by the rapid and extensive loss of habitat, as well as human disturbance and hunting. We plan to undertake the first in-depth study of the behavioural ecology of the Sakalava Rail, with focus on its habitat use, feeding ecology and breeding behaviour. The results will be used to establish effective species conservation measures. Public awareness-raising programmes will also be conducted, with the aims of reducing persecution and disturbance, and encouraging sustainable community involvement through the education of young people. 

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