The Aspinall Foundation

Giant leap for conservation in Madagascar

Posted by The Aspinall Foundation on 08-Apr-2021 12:45:21

Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated team in Madagascar six new community-managed conservation sites have been created. Including our existing site established in 2012, these seven sites cover an enormous 37,363 hectares (roughly 10% of the total area of Kent!). 

Aspinall 2020 07 Anaboazo river in Ambatomasina part by Lucien Randrianarimanana Anaboazo river in Ambatomasina. Photo by Lucien Randrianarimanana

As well as the lemur species which are the main focus of the project, these new areas support the long-term conservation of several of the most unique and threatened species of vertebrates in the world.

Madagascar big-headed turtles, a species with the highest EDGE score of any terrestrial vertebrate anywhere in the world, occurs in at least four of the new sites.

Aspinall 2020 11 Mada big-headed turtle Lucien Randrianarimanana (2) Madagascar big-headed turtle. Photo by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

Madagascar fish eagles, another Critically Endangered species endemic to western Madagascar, nest at three of the sites and feed in the wetland areas of at least five.

Aspinall 2020 07 fish eagle at Marofototra by Lucien Randrianarimanana 01 Madagascar fish eagle at Marofototra. Photo by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

Madagascar herons have been reported at four of the new sites and Madagascar flying fox roosts are present at three of the sites.

 Aspinall 2020 07 Madagascar heron at Ambatomasina by Lucien Randrianarimanana 03 Madagascarheron. Photo by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

The Critically Endangered endemic cichlid fish Paretroplus maculatus has been found at four of the sites, and at least two other highly threatened endemic fish species are also protected by the new agreements.

Critically Endangered crowned sifakas and mongoose lemurs occur at all six of the sites, and Vulnerable rufous brown lemurs at five.

Aspinall 2020 08 crowned sifaka by Lucien Randrianarimanana (1) Crowned sifaka. Photo by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

One other community-managed site is also part of the project, created back in 2012, which also supports the three diurnal lemurs, and a flying fox roost.

Aspinall 2020 07 Mada flying foxes by Lucien Randrianarimanana Madagascar flying foxes. Photo by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

These new community-based management agreements will empower local people to protect these species and the forest and wetland habitats they depend upon, and to improve their management and use of their local natural resources.

Topics: Conservation, The Aspinall Foundation, Lemurs, Madagascar