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

 impact.madagascar@gmail.com
Impact.Madagascar
 

Updates From the Field!

As summer winds to a close and the rainy season approaches, our fieldwork in Madagascar continues!  Below, please enjoy a few updates and photos from the ground.  New collaborations, gardening woes, and even a few...lemurs in the roof?  Read on to find out more.


Madiromirafy: Sifaka Project

Strengthening Collaboration, Supporting Local People for Conservation Success!

Training local people in pest control measures.

Training local people in pest control measures.

New signs announce the conservation activities taking place in the forest.

New signs announce the conservation activities taking place in the forest.

In Madiromirafy, the Sifaka Conservation Project has installed three signs to promote the Project’s activities and to raise local awareness of conservation activities taking place at the site. The panels have been erected in the Commune of Madiromirafy, at the entrance of the forest, and in the village of Anjiakely.

During the last month, the Sifaka Conservation team has also established a memorandum of understanding with the VOI. Ongoing cooperation between the Sifaka Conservation Project and local forestry authorities is important for the continued protection of Madiromirafy’s valuable and threatened natural resources. By maintaining an open channel of communication between those involved, we are able to strengthen these relationships and ensure the teams work together effectively and for the benefit of local communities.

VOI members have also taken part in training, given by the Sifaka Conservation team, concerning pest control and the protection of crops. Farmers in three villages benefited from this training ; Anosibe, Madiromirafy, and Anjiakely. Following the practical training sessions, each village was equipped with two sprayers, which can be used by members of the VOI Madiromirafy to control insect pests.

Finally, training and support of local patrol agents in the Mandrava gallery forest has been ongoing throughout the summer. In the weeks and months to come, the agents will continue collecting data and monitoring the habitat, and to assess the impact of the conservation actions on the Sifaka population.


Supporting Market Gardening in Vohitrarivo

Training in market gardening practices at Volotara

Training in market gardening practices at Volotara

Distribution of seeds and gardening materials at Volotara.

Distribution of seeds and gardening materials at Volotara.

Earlier this year Ony and Ndimby, our community development officer and agricultural technician, initiated market gardening programmes at a number of sites in Vohitrarivo (central Madagascar) and its surrounding villages. The aim is to help local people earn a sustainable income through the selling of crops. Our team have also implemented an SRI programme in the region ; SRI stands for System of Rice Intensification, and the method aims to improve the efficiency of agricultural techniques in order to increase rice yields whilst also reducing the pressure that rice farming inflicts upon the environment.

This month, the team revisited the sites to monitor their progress. In Sahofika, the 11 beneficiaries of the programme have a total of 18 vegetable plots covering an area of 54 acres. Unfortunately, they found a low success rate of crops due largely to the prevalence of pests as well as water-logging. Regarding the SRI programme, our team found the average rice yield in the region to be 3.3 tonnes/hectare. Sadly, however, one of the beneficiaries of this programme had no harvest due to an attack of Prolemur simus (greater bamboo lemur).

Agricultural pests are a problem for farmers across Madagascar, and can lead to serious conflict between humans and wildlife. This in turn can become a conservation concern, particularly when the pest also happens to be a threatened species, such as in the case of the critically endangered P. simus. The Impact Madagascar team have already started to work with farmers in Vohitrarivo and the surrounding areas, to identify and implement effective methods of pest control, for the protection of both crops and of the local lemur population. So far, 75 of the 97 beneficiaries of the market gardening programme have received training in pest management techniques. Alongside this training, a further 263 seeds, 30 watering cans and 4 sprayers have been distributed amongst beneficiaries in Vohitrarivo, Vohimarina, and Volotara.


Project Fotsife (Madena Conservation Zone)

Lemurs in the roof!

Three mouse lemurs peering out from their nest in the roof of the research station.

Three mouse lemurs peering out from their nest in the roof of the research station.

Deciding whether it’s safe to jump!

Deciding whether it’s safe to jump!

At our project site in Mandena, it wasn’t just during treks in the forest that our field team encountered their furry friends! The teams’ campsite in the Mandena Conservation Zone sat right at the edge of the forest. Each night, at around dinner time, the team would hear rustlings in the neighbouring research station and assumed they had a resident rat. But one evening, the culprit could be heard leaping from the roof of the research station into the trees at the forest edge.

The next night the team waited at dusk with their torches and headlamps to get a better look at the creature; peering down at them from a crack in the roof of the research station they saw five pairs of glowing eyes. It wasn’t a rat living in the research station, but a family of five mouse lemurs which, every night at dusk, would scuttle across the roof of the research station and into the neighbouring forest!