The Wilder Institute has been working collaboratively on community-based lemur conservation in Kianjavato, Madagascar since 2017. Kianjavato is one of only five areas where greater bamboo lemurs persist. Lemur populations in the region are restricted to small, isolated forest fragments that are unlikely to sustain lemurs in the long-term. We work with our partners to engage local communities in reforestation activities, planting future habitat for lemurs while improving local livelihoods. We work to support three lemur species:
- Greater bamboo lemur, Prolemur simus, Critically Endangered
- Aye Aye, Daubentonia madagascariensis, Endangered
- Black-and-white ruffed lemur, Varecia variegata, Critically Endangered
The Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership is our on-the-ground collaborator, operating more than 20 tree nurseries in the Kianjavato region of southeastern Madagascar. At each nursery, staff grow tree seedlings which will be planted to reconnect forest fragments in the region. A seed collector team specifically seeks out seeds found in lemur feces, as these germinate better and grow into fruit trees favoured by the primates.
The nurseries provide employment to a group of more than 100 single mothers to help them support their families. Nursery work and planting events provide income for local people, a win-win for humans and nature. Individuals that participate in reforestation also earn Conservation Reward Credits, which can be used to purchase sustainable technologies such as solar panels, fuel efficient ‘rocket’ stoves, sewing machines and bicycles.
Our conservation impact
Reforestation efforts help reconnect isolated forest fragments, supporting endangered lemurs and other wildlife to thrive once more. We also support the work of local trackers to monitor aye-aye lemurs, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, and greater bamboo lemurs. The objective of the lemur program is to maximize species recovery and reduce the risk of extinction.