Saint Luce in Madagascar is surrounded by extremely rare fragments of coastal rainforest, which represent only 10% of the original forest cover, as a result of massive deforestation. The fragments are home to multiple endangered species of flora and fauna. An amazing 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 volunteer project seeks to alleviate the problem of deforestation, and aims to protect these forest fragments in a sustainable manner. It combines practical, hands-on conservation research on the endangered fauna and flora, with community initiatives and environmental education.
As a conservation volunteer in Africa you will work alongside international and Malagasy specialists as well as the local community. The Lemur & Biodiversity Research module of the project investigates the impact of forest fragmentation on lemur, reptile and amphibian populations by collecting data in the forests in Sainte Luce.
The forest here is one of only three significant areas of southern coastal forest remaining in Madagascar. Research has shown that many of the large animal species of the forests have been lost and those remaining may not be able to maintain viable populations beyond 2020-2040.
The data collected is used nationally and internationally to highlight the plight of the fauna and flora in Sainte Luce. The Community Conservation module considers the human dimension of conservation in the Sainte Luce region. People living in Sainte Luce are highly dependent on the environment, from flora and fauna to 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.