The three target species in the area are classified by IUCN as Critically Endangered.
Several threats were identified during surveys to increase the known range of Prolemur simus and the monitoring undertaken in the area where the species were found. These include hunting and trapping, tavy (slash and burn agriculture) and bush fires, forest clearing for agricultural land, and illegal mining.
Food insecurity and poor education still negatively impact rural life in Madagascar. Local people rely on the forest and forest products to get through this difficult period. This project is targeting the improvement of rice crops to satisfy the annual needs of each household. It will also include fish farming as a means to generate cash revenues. It is hoped such activities can reduce, if not eradicate, hunting, trapping and wildlife/forest products collection as well as illegal mining. Also, by training community members to use improved agricultural techniques, the project is aiming to reduce the transformation of forest area into agricultural land or the use of fire.
To improve forest cover and food availability for lemurs, reforestation and firebreaks will be established. Whereas the reforestation plan is initiated to forecast the future needs of trees and for restoring forest cover, firebreaks will protect the existing forest and reforestation from bushfire and slash-and-burn agriculture.
At the same time, permanent and regular patrols around the forest will be undertaken, mainly by local community members and coordinated the by project team, to help reduce the occurrence of hunting, illegal collection as well as any other threats and pressures on the species and their habitats.
Additionally, awareness raising will be undertaken throughout the project duration to help people understand the laws and regulations about lemurs, fires, mining and logging. Different kind of materials such as posters, calendars, school notebooks, stories and movies will be used to engage the public.
The key project results include:
- Habitat loss due to fire from outside of the managed area will be eliminated by 100% thanks to the firebreak.
- Individual loss due to hunting and trapping will be eliminated by 100% within the managed area.
- Knowledge and information on target species will be improved including the exact number of groups of each target species will be identified and number of individuals at least estimated.
- Forest cover will be extended by 15 hectares during this project.