| Feb 23, 2024
Protecting Threatened Lemur Habitats in Madagascar
Littoral forests are one of the most threatened ecosystems in Madagascar, with over 90% lost due to human activity. Specifically, persistent industrial-scale mining, logging, and high community dependence on natural resources have endangered endemic species. Some of the last viable littoral forests in Madagascar are in its Southeast Anosy region, including the Sainte Luce Littoral Forest (SLLF) where, since 2019, SEED has worked to improve habitat connectivity and species dispersal.
In the second half of 2023, SEED continued to promote habitat expansion and preservation. Specifically, SEED instituted a new planting method to increase native seedling growth by enhancing water retention. Nearly two thousand seedlings were replanted using this method. Moreover, SEED instituted a new corridor management strategy, in which regular mulching, fertilizing, and watering delivered more nutrients to the seedlings. These measures resulted in average native growth of 0.81cm per month, with an average corridor survival rate of 83%. Constant communication with local communities, and specialized training with corridor landowners, as well as the distribution of 65 fire beaters, have strengthened the community’s resource management efforts.
SEED’s efforts have only expanded in 2024, with the additional planting of 4,595 native seedlings, including for the first time in the fifth forest corridor and the new extension of the fourth forest corridor. SEED is also working with local stakeholders to establish a community planting site and managing committee ramp up before the end of Phase II in May 2024. These efforts, coupled with consistent monitoring, evaluation, fire mitigation efforts, and community engagement will remain a focus of the project team as it continues its work to safeguard these fragile habitats.
We are grateful for the generosity of the many donors who have helped promote the conservation of endangered lemurs and other wildlife through the conservation of this crucial natural resource.