Photos of Lemurs

I spent 8 weeks from July to September 2007 volunteering for Lemur Venture - A joint project involving Azafady, a local grassroots NGO based in Fort Dauphin, and Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza (PBZT), the governmental partner. As volunteers, we spent time in the bush collecting data about lemur numbers and behaviour. We were led by Matthew Banks, a primatologist from Stony Brook University. The data we collected was to inform captive breeding programs and reforestaton efforts as well as by researchers trying to better understand Madagascar's complex ecosystems. We spent 4 weeks each in the Spiny forests of Ifotaka, and the littoral forests at St Luce. A typical day involved morning and evening transecting on different paths of around 3km length, recorded data for every lemur group seen. The highlight of our time there was the night walks, where we walked the transects looking for the nocturnal lemurs. The researchers from PBZT were more interested in feeding behaviour, especially the role of lemurs in forest regeneration. When lemurs eat a fruit, they don't bite the seeds, which get pooed out pretty much intact. When not walking transects, we were following a group of lemurs around, IDing the trees they ate at, and collecting seed samples from their poo. The govt awarded Azafady and PBZT management of the highest peak in Fort Dauphin (Peak St Luis, here is a photo of me on it) and the area around it. They plan to reforest it, reintroduce the lemur species that used to be there and set up a small zoo and educational centre for the locals. So all the feeding data we collected could inform the plant types for the reforestation.

Other photos from Madagascar