Andasibe National Park is home to multiple Lemur species, including the Indri, the Diademed Sifaka and the Southern Ruffed Lemur, all of which are Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.
One of the main threats to Lemurs in this area is the destruction and deterioration of their habitat through deforestation, the collection of wood for heating and cooking, and the production of charcoal. Recently, the cutting of woods for charcoal and wood exploitation has increased in the Mahatsara site managed by the local community. The Lemurs are also under pressure from hunting and fragmentation.
The project will focus on the conservation of the three aforementioned Critically Endangered Lemur species, as well as the Vulnerable Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur.
Conservation education will be crucial in addressing the issues facing Lemurs in this area, including increasing knowledge of the value and advantages of biodiversity within the local community. The project will also carry out surveys to better understand the habitat of the Lemurs, as well as introduce patrolling activities in high-pressure areas to reduce illegal activities. They work closely with the local community and forest department to carry out a forest patrol every month. They will also undertake reforestation activities to improve habitat for the Lemurs and will also support the local community through the introduction of alternative livelihood initiatives such as beekeeping.
The project hopes to have increased the level of knowledge and skills around conservation by August 2022. They will also have a better understanding of the density and abundance of each target species from the data collected through surveys. The introduction of community based initiatives, such as beekeeping, will help create new sources of income for the local area.
Finally, the project hopes to reduce pressure on the target species by at least 70% before the end of the project.