Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership

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

The Greater bamboo lemur of Kianjavato

 

simus

Greater bamboo lemur, Prolemur simus


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  • Threatened by several anthropogenic pressures including tavy (slash-and-burn agriculture), mining, illegal logging, & poaching
  • Before 2007, scientists knew there to be less than 75 individuals
  • The species only exists in a few area in southeast Madagascar, including Kianjavato
  • Kianjavato Classified Forest is about 5,000 hectares
  • Kianjavato Classified Forest is a non-protected area
  • Thus, the species is listed as critically endangered & is considered one of the world’s most endangered primates

 

The Commune of Kianjavato and its surrounding Classified Forest

Kianj map MBP

MBP's important discovery

While conducting a biodiversity survey in 2007, MBP researchers discovered a large group of Prolemur simus in the forests surrounding the Kianjavato commune. After a more thorough investigation, MBP estimated population of 100 individuals. This means the Kianjavato population represents the largest known population of Greater bamboo lemur!

Since the forests surrounding Kianjavato are not protected, MBP initiated a monitoring program to help protect these animals. MBP has more than 15 animals collared and over 30 individuals observed. In addition, MBP developed a community outreach program to connect local people with the environment and demonstrate the benefits of conservation.

Kianjavato Ahmanson Field Station

Working in collaboration with local officials and area residents, MBP established a field research station and community center. Known as KAFS, the Kianjavato Ahmanson Field Station serves as a hub for the MBP and its international research partners. In addition, the facility serves as a community center, where local villagers can participate in educational outreach activities and collaborate on developing sustainable conservation practices.

Local Community Involvement

  • Organized monthly presentations by MBP Malagasy graduate students of their ongoing and/or completed conservation projects
  • Teacher training courses on environmental education programs to be integrated into the current curriculum
  • Conducted workshops for the community to promote sustainable alternatives to forest dependence
  • Provided training and support to construct fuel-efficient “Rocket Stoves” offering alternative methods for cooking and heat, reducing charcoal expenses and use for local people
  • Directed the upkeep of the nature trail systems establishing ecotourism, an economic benefit for the region and an incentive for conservation

Education component

Much of the educational activities have been spearheaded by our partner, Conservation Fusion.

  • In December 2007, the MBP distributed over 700 conservation–based coloring and activity books entitled “Lemurs: Your National Treasure” along with crayons and notebooks to primary school children in Kianjavato.
  • In 2009, MBP and Conservation Fusion led teacher-training workshop how to integrate conservation education programs into the current school curriculum
  • This partnership implemented a traveling environmental educational crate filled with environmental games, puppets, books, binoculars etc.
  • This partnership also organized an environmental education summer camp with local schoolchildren
  • MBP initiated a reforestation program in collaboration with the villages of Kianjavato and Vatovavy to connect the area between the two and provide a corridor for P. simus movement

The goal of these presentations, workshops and demonstrations is to connect local people with the environment and demonstrate the benefits of conservation. We realize that conservation management must include projects involving and supported by the local community and the above activities are allowing to fulfill this requirement.

With the education component already underway, the next objective was the implementation of a community-based monitoring and surveillance program, creating immediate protection for P. simus & employment for local guides. To date, more than a dozen locals have been hired to help implement the numerous aspects of MBP's conservation program. This helps to ensure a connection between the Kianjavato community and their forest to ensure the long-term survival of the Greater Bamboo Lemur.

These efforts have been made possible thanks to grants provided by the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation and the Primate Action Fund.

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