Southern woolly lemur (Avahi meridionalis)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 152511596
The use of plantations and forest corridors by the endangered southern woolly lemur: a strategy for their conservation
In some deforested areas, plantations have been used as a source of wood for local communities. Previous studies have found that, when correctly managed, plantations can extend the habitat available to lemurs. Where plantations connect small isolated forest fragments, they can serve as corridors thus reducing the danger of extinction for isolated primate populations (Ganzhorn 1987). Whilst our previous study observed Avahi using reforested habitat, these sightings were spontaneous and unfortunately provide insufficient data for meaningful statistical analysis. This project therefore aims to evaluate and quantify Avahi's use of plantations and forest corridors in the Mandena forest. The results will be used to establish a speculative analysis of the use of plantations and forest corridors in increasing the area and connectivity of habitat available to Avahi meridionalis and thus whether this is a suitable strategy in the conservation of this species. This study will also assess and structural characteristics of reforested habitat and compare it with those of nearby primary forest; this will allow us to identify any structural habitat characteristics which may be important to the survival of Avahi. Based upon our findings, we will make recommendations for the ongoing reforestation and post-mine rehabilitation programme in the region.
Project 152511596 location - Madagascar, Africa