Photo Credit: Tefy Andriamihajarivo

Securing lemur populations in the Analavelona Sacred Forest


Credits : Tefy Andriamihajarivo


The 4,487 hectare Analavelona Sacred Forest is a very rare example of sub-humid forest located in the otherwise sub-arid south-west of Madagascar. The forest is almost pristine and contains a diverse fauna and flora including many rare and locally endemic species. The forest has long been considered sacred by the local Bara people and for centuries it has been successfully conserved by local leaders called Lonaky. However, now, the outside world has begun to undermine the Lonaky’s influence and the forest and its lemur inhabitants are increasingly threatened, most notably, by lemur hunting and wild fires. 


In 2015 the forest was designated as a new protected area with management delegated to Missouri Botanical Garden whose local team implement a community-based conservation programme. In this project, the project team will work with the Lonaky to reduce lemur hunting by village-level awareness-raising, forest patrols, and poverty reduction; and to stop fires entering the forest with firebreaks. Research will also be conducted to provide information on the status of the three target species and train two local people in lemur monitoring and as village-level advocates for lemur conservation.


At the end of this two-year project it is expected that the number of lemur hunting incidents at the project site will have fallen by 90%; that no forest will have been lost due to wild fires; that the abundance, distribution of and the threats to the three target lemur species are known; and that and two local people have joined our team as effective advocates for lemur conservation.

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