Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur Flavifrons)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 152511978
Is reforestation an effective conservation strategy for the Blue-eyed Black Lemur (Eulemur flavifrons)?
Madagascar's forests are threatened by extremely high levels of deforestation and resource exploitation. Accordingly, the 80% of endemic fauna which relies on the forest for survival is highly threatened as a result of habitat loss. This includes the Blue-eyed Black Lemur (E. flavifrons) which is among the top 25 most endangered primates globally. This species' global range is limited to the Sahamalaza peninsula and surrounding area.
This project aims to evaluate the on-going reforestation effort of the NGO AEECL (Lemur Conservation Association). They are responsible for reforesting over 420 hectares in the Sahamalaza region in north-west Madagascar. Reforestation provides high-quality habitat for lemurs and other forest species. Researchers will conduct detailed floral surveys to assess the diversity, structure and comparative similarity of reforested regions to primary forest in the area. This will be achieved using traditional vegetation sampling methods including transect searches for floral species and tree density.
Researchers will run acoustic surveys alongside the vegetation surveys. These will allow identification of the vocal vertebrate species present in the sample sites to be identified. Primary focus will be on identifying blue-eyed black lemur calls to determine whether they are using the reforested habitat and in what way. Additionally, bio-indicator species including bird and bat species will also be identified to give a general assessment of habitat health.
Analysis of reforested sites compared to primary forest sites will enable researchers to identify how reforested habitat differs from primary forest and will enable the production of a guide to reforestation containing constructive reforestation advice based on scientific analysis. NGOs and government agencies working in the future will be able to use this advice to maximise the efficiency and impact of their reforestation programmes.
Identification of the most effective reforestation parameters will maximise the conservation benefit of reforestation programmes for the endangered species present in regions of heavy deforestation including the blue-eyed black lemur.
Project 152511978 location - Madagascar, Africa