Be part of a number of exciting research and conservation initiatives, dedicated to Lemurs on an extensive range of projects - from the collection of data on endangered lemur species to environmental education with local communities and even tree-planting for reforestation purposes, whilst living and working amongst some of the most beautiful and remote parts of Madagascar.
Madagascar Conservation Project Anosy, south east Madagascar
This exciting and innovative programme works with a multi-award winning charity in the exotic coastal region of Sainte Luce in southeast Madagascar. Integrating conservation research on critically endangered flora and fauna with community initiatives, volunteers can get involved in various aspects of on-going conservation work.
Saint Luce is surrounded by extremely rare fragments of littoral (coastal) rainforest, which represent only 10% of the original forest cover, as a result of massive deforestation. The fragments are home to multiple endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna; a staggering 96% of all tree species here are endemic. As such, the fragments are one of Madagascar’s most threatened habitats and a huge conservation priority.
The project seeks to alleviate the problem of deforestation, and aims to protect these fragile forest fragments in a sustainable manner. It combines practical, hands-on conservation research on endangered flora and fauna – in particular lemurs, reptiles and amphibians – with community initiatives and environmental education, building the community’s understanding of the complex habitats of which they are the stewards. Working alongside international and Malagasy specialists as well as the local community, this programme offers a fantastic opportunity for those wishing to gain field skills and experience in conservation projects on-the-ground in a developing country.
The volunteer scheme is designed as a 10-week programme starting at the beginning of January, April, July and October each year, but is split into two-week modules which can be taken individually, or combined, so volunteers can stay for up to 10 weeks long. Whilst you are welcome to stay for just one 2-week module, the programme has been planned so that volunteers may combine modules to stay longer and get a real overview of the integrated way this project approaches the conservation of biodiversity.
Lemur & Biodiversity Research
This module investigates the impact of forest fragmentation on lemur, reptile and amphibian populations by collecting data in the littoral forests in Sainte Luce. The forest here is one of only three significant areas of southern littoral forest remaining in Madagascar. Research has shown that many of the large animal species of the littoral forests have been lost and those remaining may not be able to maintain viable populations beyond 2020-2040. Volunteers will be part of a long-term project to provide not only an individual account of species and forest vulnerability but also an overall perspective of issues facing biodiversity across the region. The data collected is hugely important and used nationally and internationally to highlight the plight of the fauna and flora in Sainte Luce.
This module encompasses the human dimension of conservation in the Sainte Luce region. For conservation of natural resources to be successful it is important to take into consideration the human dimension, in particular the relationship between local livelihoods and the littoral forests. People living in Sainte Luce are highly dependent on the environment, from biotic factors (flora and fauna) to abiotic factors (for example, rainfall and soil conditions required for growing crops). Tasks can involve environmental education of children in local villages, building fuel-efficient stoves and planting and evaluating the critically endangered palm, Dypsis saintelucei.
The Madagascar Conservation Project offers a fantastic opportunity to experience the fascinating island of Madagascar and work to conserve its unique and endangered environment.
Be prepared for adventurous journeys, long walks in remote forests and beautiful project sites. The work may be tough at times but rest assured the experience is incomparably rewarding – we invite you to be so much more than a tourist!
Dates - full ten weeks or two, four, six or eight week blocks of the below:
6-19 Jan | 20 Jan - 2 Feb | 17 Feb - 2 Mar | 3 Mar - 16 Mar
4-17 Apr | 18 Apr - 1 May | 2 May - 15 May | 16 May - 29 May | 30 May - 12 Jun
4 Jul - 17 Jul | 18 Jul - 31 Jul | 1 Aug - 14 Aug | 15 Aug - 28 Aug | 29 Aug - 11 Sep
3 Oct - 16 Oct | 17 Oct - 30 Oct " 31 Oct - 13 Nov | 14 Nov - 27 Nov | 28 Nov - 11 Dec
What is the minimum stay?
Where exactly is it?
Anosy, south east Madagascar
What will I be doing?
Discover more about the lemur species and their forest habitats of tropical Madagascar
- Learn about biological research methods and basic field skills in areas such as animal behavior, feeding ecology, conservation biology, lemur censuring, home range studies, community natural resource management and habitat management
- Gain a holistic understanding of conservation work in developing countries by working on community initiatives
- Explore and learn to recognize how poverty affects conservation
- Experience working within a multi-cultural environment
- Become a member of the team and learn efficient teamwork skills
- Get a taste of the local culture and learn to speak some Malagasy!
- Make friends for life, with both our international Volunteers and with the Malagasy staff
- Project Fee: this entails financing that goes directly back into the project that you are involved with. This project fee facilitates funding for items such as research equipment to provide for the running and continued expansion of the project.
- Airport transfer from Fort Dauphin to project site
- Orientation programme
- Any daily transport that might be required as part of the project during your stay
- Full board and lodging which includes 3 meals a day at project base
- Assistance in your projects by various African Impact support staff and volunteer coordinators
- Full support from African Impact and your project co-ordinator throughout your time on your Madagascar placement
The cost excludes:
- Personal travel insurance for the duration of your placement which must include cover for repatriation
- All transport by air to Fort Dauphin in Madagascar
- All items of a personal nature, such as curios, gifts, clothing (work and other)
- Email/Internet and telephone calls
- Soft drinks, wines and spirits
- All visas for border crossings
- Any excursions over and above your planned itinerary in Madagascar
- Transportation that is not related to the project
All necessary training will be given in-country and volunteers don’t need any experience, only a keen interest in conservation, although those who already have experience will gain more and contribute further to the project.
All volunteers receive a comprehensive orientation which will include information about Madagascar as well as an introduction to the work you will be doing over the following weeks. This will give you a thorough understanding of the work of a sustainable development NGO in Madagascar as well as an opportunity to learn more about Madagascar itself, it's fascinating culture and some of the local language, Malagasy!
Local staff, sometimes joined by staff from PBZT, will give you a detailed introduction to the work that you will be doing during your programme and will lead a series of lectures and workshops addressing topics such as "Primate Surveying Techniques", "Primate Behaviour", "Botanical Surveying Techniques", and "How Captive Breeding Aids Conservation".
During the orientation, or at the end of your scheme, depending on time available, volunteers will get a chance to visit Nahampoana Reserve for an up close experience with several species of lemur and if time allows, an optional visit to Andohahela National Park may be arranged.
Throughout your stay at your placement in Madagascar, a team of Malagasy staff will travel and work with you at all times, as co-workers to offer translation and advice on Malagasy culture, facilitating communication and positive interaction with the local communities and to ensure your safety. Many of our staff also have an intimate knowledge of the forests in which we work and can assist in the identification of lemur and plant species.
Also travelling with the group is the international project co-coordinator who is a qualified researcher and will ensure that the group is kept happy, healthy and busy!
This ensures that our volunteers have full support and encouragement to understand and appreciate the very different culture and environment that this project will take you into. A satellite telephone travels with the volunteers at all times to ensure effective communication in times of need.
Minimum 18 years, maximum decided on potential participants health