Montagne des Français, in the extreme north of Madagascar, is an intersection of rain forest and dry deciduous forests, home to many endemic plant and animal species. The area is considered to have the most endangered lemurs in the world: the endangered crowned lemur and the endangered aye-aye.
As such, since the region has been the victim to illicit charcoal production over the years, this has caused fragmented areas of forest and decline in habitat for the lemurs.
In collaboration with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP) who have been focusing on the area since 2010, it has now become the aim of the Marat Karpeka Lemur Foundation (MKLF) to help fund a three-year reforestation plan in Montagne des Français which will in turn improve the prospects of survival and reproduction of the endangered lemurs.
The MBP is also planting trees for fuelwood to benefit the communities in the area, as well as introducing fuel efficient stoves to discourage the use of coal in the homes. In addition, they are piloting an aquaponics system to enhance the farming of quality vegetables, plants and fish as a source of nutrition for the communities.
Key objectives for the next three-year project are: (2020-2022)
- To continue the support of the Eaux et Foret and gendarme teams with nocturnal teams on a random basis.
- To incorporate SMART (fabric) pots to hold endemic trees for at least one-year increments in the new growing nursery, in order to plant trees in the following rainy season. This will eliminate the use of plastic pots and the SMART pot is a better vessel for growing and maintaining plant growth over longer periods of time which is required due to the seasonal planting of trees.
- To renovate the aquaponics system to improve production for the community.
- To increase production of endemic trees and planting numbers as part of crisis level restoration.
- To support Conservation Fusion’s business and language training programs of the MDF MBP staff in order to build a self-sustainable business platform to manage the field station.
- To provide monitoring equipment for the northern sportive lemur and crowned lemurs (radio-collars, radio-receivers, cables, antennas, and GPS units.
To provide monitoring equipment for the aye-aye lemurs (GPS satellite units), probably a Lemur Action Fund.