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Home // Research grants // Our worldwide projects // Leaving a lasting legacy for lemurs in Madagascar

Leaving a lasting legacy for lemurs in Madagascar

The problem

The Sainte Luce Littoral Forest is host to 189 different species of plant, a quarter of which are found in this one region of Madagascar. But the Sainte Luce Littoral Forest, has been halved in just over 50 years. Human activities such as slash and burn agriculture and a potential industrial-scale mining operation, mean that this incredible forest and the animals that live in it, are severely at risk. The southern woolly lemur is already listed as endangered. Thomas’ dwarf lemur and Anosy mouse lemur also make their homes in this forest. These nocturnal species can’t cross open land between forest patches. This means as deforestation increases, creating more forest fragments, these animals have less space to live in and the individual populations will become increasingly isolated. Since lemurs also help the forest by dispersing seeds, it is likely that their disappearance would only increase the rate of degradation.

As a result of Project Ala, a habitat corridor will span across this deforested area to connect two forest fragments

The solution

We need to safeguard and reconnect the Sainte Luce Littoral Forest. Our partners, SEED Madagascar, will plant four habitat corridors between five legally protected forest fragments. This vital work will reconnect viable lemur habitat and increasing the forest habitat by 58 hectares. Many other endemic plants and animals that are unable to disperse between isolated patches of habitat will also benefit.

The team will work closely with the community. This is to ensure they feel not just included but have local ownership of the conservation work. Importantly, together, they will create a long-term strategy. It will be locally led to ensure the forest is protected and managed in the future.

Meanwhile, the SEED team will also monitor the lemurs’ movements and behaviours. This will help them to evaluate how effective forest corridors are as a conservation strategy. Most importantly, it will regenerate the forest and support sustainable, community-led natural resource management. Meaning a better future for the people and for the lemurs and other animals that depend on the it.

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