Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership

Protecting Madagascar's last 10% of forest through research, education & outreach


Aye-aye says Congrats Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership
Malagasy Grad Student Completes DEA 


On March 20, 2014, the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership's General Director and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium's Department Chair of Conservation Genetics, Dr. Edward Louis, Jr. was present as the external reporter at Mr. James Sedera Solofondranohatra thesis defense entitled “Ecoethologied’une Femelle de Daubentonia madagascariensis dans la Forêt de Kianjavato, Sud-Est de Madagascar. " His degree, which is similar to a masters, is from the faculty of sciences at the Université d’Antananarivo, Départémente dePaleontologie et d’Anthropologie Biologique, with a specialization in Primatology.

With support from Omaha's Zoo Foundation, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the San Diego Zoo, and the MBP, Sedera has conducted an excellent research effort on one of the most difficult lemurs or even mammals to study, given that this species has enormous home territories and daily home ranges, are strictly nocturnal, and extremely intelligent at avoidance behavior. His study was conducted for a total of 11 months, primarily in the forest of Kianjavato, part of the FOFIFA Kianjavato, and the Sangasanga Mountain.

Sedera's research is the first comprehensive continuous investigation of an individual free-ranging Aye-aye on the island of Madagascar, which follows up on the pinnacle study by Dr. Eleanor Sterling in 1991 on Nosy Mangabe.

During this time, Sedera worked out of MBP's Kianjavato Ahmanson Field Station monitoring food preferences, habitat use and territory of a female Aye-aye named “Bozy” which included a period of time in which she had a male offspring named “Mena”. The results of his study have redefined what scientists understand about this enigmatic species including diet preferences in a lowland forest, territorial home range (many times larger than was documented by Dr. sterling's findings that reported 30-50 hectares for female Aye-aye), reliance on major tree species for food resources, higher use of bamboo for insect resources, use of the upper canopy for food and dispersal, and activity budgets centered primarily on feeding (80%).

Sedera presented his results orally at the International Prosimian Congress meeting at Ranomafana National Parc at the Centre ValBio. His preliminary reports were instrumental in changing the IUCN red data list status from Near Threatened to Endangered at the IUCN red data meeting in Antananarivo.Sedera's efforts will certainly continue to impact and improve the species status and draw interests to further study and protect this singular lemur from Madagascar.





New Paper Released!

26 March 2014

Congratulations to all of the authors and organizations that supported the publication just released, "Population genetics implications for the conservation of the Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis Schmidt, 1935 (Crocodylia: Crocodylidae)".

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, Crocodylus mindorensis by Gregg Yan


Safety First!Lavavolo Sunset.jpg

MBP Personnel showing off new quads and helmets :o) 
We will be using these Quads to get around the nurseries and planting sites more efficiently!  



Fredo during first event with CC profiles_HilaryHamilton2.jpgA New Day!

With MBP's Conservation
Credit Rewards Program

The MBP has started a new incentive program for the local people and schools who participate in tree-planting day events. For every tree planted by a participant, the MBP gives them credits to be accumulated to earn sustainable, green, life-changing tools like Tough Stuff Solar Kits and Hippo Rollers to Bicycles. On this trip to Kianjavato, Dr. Louis and his team along with help from a graduate student at UNO have instituted Picture IDs and a program to scan these IDs to keep track of every credit earned and every tree planted! Look out world. Here comes the MBP!
Click on picture to see more!
Photos by MBP Volunteer, Hilary


Science Magazine Research Publication FEB 2014

Averting Lemur Extinctions
amid Madagascar's Political Crisis

Click on photos to be directed to Science

 Photos courtsey of Dr. Edward E. Louis Jr. 


The island nation of Madagascar is well known for it rich diversity of plants and animals and more famously for its lemurs.These primates, however, are the most threatened mammal group on the planet, with 94% of the 101 species of lemurs being in danger of becoming extinct.Poverty, political instability, slash-and-burn agriculture, mining, illegal logging, and an increase in bush meat trade are all factors jeopardizing the survival of these animals.

However, conservationists have not given up and have released a new three year emergency conservation action plan, which is highlighted in the well known journal, Science. One of the authors of this article is OHDZA and MBP's own conservation genetics researcher, Dr. Edward Louis, Jr. Along with thirteen other experts, Louis, put together a plan that identifies 30 important lemur forests for preservation. Each site has an individual strategized plan incorporating local needs but they all have in common the need for community managed protected areas, sustaining and expanding the presence oflong-term research, and promoting and expanding ecotourism.

One of the critical lemur sites listed in the plan is the Kianjavato Classified Forest, located in the south eastern part of the country. Acting on behalf of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, Louis and his team have diligently been working at this site for several years conducting research and implementing community involved conservation projects.The project Louis is most proud of is the reforestation effort he initiated which has resulted in 78,000 native trees being planted back into the landscape. Louis’ efforts have created,and will continue to create, additional habitat for the critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemur and the greater bamboo lemur that live in this forest.

To support this crucial conservation action plan to save Madagascar’s lemurs, a total of $7.6 million will need to be raised. Funds are sought from every level from governments to foundations to individuals. Scientists, including Dr. Louis, are optimistic and say that if implemented such a plan could prevent the extinction of any lemur species inthe next decade and provide the framework for long-term conservation success.


International Journal of Primatology
Research Publication Feb 2014

 Betsileo Woolly Lemur_Avahi betsileo Photo credit Ed Louis.jpg10764_035_001.jpg

Earlier this month Dr. Louis was a co-authored on research publication for The International Journal of Primatology titled "Opsin Genes and Visual Ecology in a Nocturnal Folivorous Lemur". This cute little Betsileo Woolly lemur (Avahi betsileo) made the cover. The adorable photo was taken by our very own Dr. Edward E. Louis Jr. 

Click on pictures upbove to be directed to International Journal of Primatology











powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Maker