The main threats to the three target lemur species are subsistence hunting; habitat loss; and habitat fragmentation through predominately slash-and-burn agriculture but also other anthropogenic activities such as logging and mining.
By continuing and improving the application of SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) conservation software, the project aims to reduce the hunting pressure on target lemur species and to prevent further habitat loss and fragmentation. By marking park boundaries and raising awareness of the regulatory framework the project team aims to help local communities to identify the park limits and to become familiar with existing laws allowing for a reduction in further habitat degradation through slash-and-burn agriculture and lemur hunting.
By restoring a degraded and fragmented corridor the project aims to increase connectivity of a critical forest habitat for the target species.
By promoting sustainable cash-crops and rice intensification techniques the project aims to generate financial incentives for local communities and thus provide alternatives to destructive practices of slash-and-burn rice cultivation, illegal logging, and subsistence hunting.
Overall the project aims to reduce by 30% the incidence of observed threats to the target species from hunting and slash and burn agriculture. Specifically, the project team expects that by the end of the project:
- Some 30% of the project area is covered twice every three months by community law enforcement patrols involving 120 community rangers, and data on infractions related to lemur hunting or habitat destruction is used to prosecute offenders and identify sites where awareness raising is needed;
- Some 400 square km of park boundaries in threat hotspots for lemurs are clearly visible and known by local communities and at least 8,000 people have increased awareness of the regulatory framework pertaining to lemur conservation and threats within the park;
- Some 40 hectares of degraded forest corridor are restored and a physical link exists between each intact parcel of critical lemur habitat;
- Livelihoods activities are implemented and adopted and have resulted in behaviour change in participating households. This includes providing 350 households with alternatives to destructive practices that threaten lemur habitat, and 880 households with the knowledge to carry out financial incentives for conservation.