Project Ala aims to increase and improve viable habitat for the three nocturnal species of lemur in Sainte Luce littoral forest, through corridor reforestation coupled with strengthened local and regional capacity to support the conservation of lemurs and their natural habitats. As of July 2020, all three of these lemur species are classified as Endangered by the IUCN.
Two out of the four endangered lemurs that live in Sainte Luce’s littoral forests are endemic to southeast Madagascar (Eulemur collaris, Avahi meridonalis) while the others Cheirogaleus thomasi and Microcebus tanosi have been confirmed to inhabit the forests by SEED Madagascar's Conservation Research Programme. However, the coastal forest habitat they rely on is disappearing; only 10% of the original littoral forest remains in Madagascar. This is due to deforestation, dependence on natural resources and potential mining exploitation.
Without intervention, 91% of southern littoral forest is predicted to be lost by 2065, seriously threatening lemur species with extinction.Temple et al., 2012
We're constructing four habitat corridors between five isolated forest fragments, reconnecting viable lemur habitat and significantly increasing connected forest habitat by 58ha (109%). This is being overseen by locally elected forest management committees; COBA and FIMPIA. Working closely with key stakeholders and the community, we're also undertaking education and capacity building to strengthen community-led conservation. We will monitor the success of the forest connections by assessing the passage of lemurs between the forest remnants and faunal biodiversity change.
- All four forest corridors have been acquired, and we're working with the seven land-owners on the preparation and planting of the corridors, and managing firebreaks
- Planted 2,595 Acacia mangium seedlings
- Planted 1,330 native species of 12 different species, and expecting to plant a further 4,625 from December 2020 to February 2021
- Tree nursery redesigned so that it can now grow up to 8,000 seedlings at once
- Reached over 200 children with education sessions in 2019, and 15 selected school children for school nursery workshops
- Increasing job availability all year round with planting and re-planting in the corridors
- Working with stakeholders including FIMPIA, COBA, Miaro and DREDD on corridor design and management, education and community involvement/liaison
NatureSpy are collaborating with SEED Madagascar by aiding Project Ala’s research to monitor the transition of three nocturnal lemur species through habitat corridors using camera traps. These camera traps help us understand the success of the corridors as a lemur conservation strategy by informing national and international research.