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SAVA Research

Rainforest biodiversity

DLC-SAVA Conservation collaborates with the association Vahatra to study the biodiversity in remote rainforests of SAVA. The team included specialists on different kinds of animals, revealing surprising diversity in birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Forty seven species of reptiles and amphibians were found, as well as 14 species of small mammals (tenrecs and rodents), and 60 species of birds! You can read more about these exciting expeditions in the 2018 DLC-SAVA Conservation newsletter and in Dr. Blanco’s Notes from the Field blog series and article “Of Conservation, Conflict, and Conscience,” published in Lemur News:┬áThe Newsletter of the Madagascar Section of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group.

One Health in SAVA

DLC-SAVA has facilitated the research of Dr. Charles Nunn and Dr. Randy Kramer from Duke University to study the effects of conservation on disease dynamics. DLC-SAVA Program Coordinator Dr. James Herrera has led this project between 2017-2019, investigating the infectious diseases of mammals in the region and how the transmission of disease can be related to deforestation. This project, originally supported by the Duke Bass Connections Program and the Collaboratory grant, is now supported by the US National Institute of Health. You can read more about this work at the Bass Connections page and in our 2020 and 2018 newsletters.

Research led by Nunn and Duke scientists and students has demonstrated non-communicable diseases are also a problem in Madagascar. By surveying over 500 villagers, the research showed that about 50% of people have hypertension.

One Health recognizes the links between the health of people and the environment. Here, Tonkasina Jackson has his blood pressure taken by assistant Doelette.

During our One Health study, local physician Dr. Thierry saw patients from neighboring villages.

image of a brown tenrec on the ground

Tenrecs are endemic to Madagascar, and can get diseases from exotic species like black rats.

Pitfall traps to collect small mammals. Small mammals in rice fields can transmit diseases to people.

University of Antananarivo student Tamby Ranaivoson studies ectoparasites under the microscope.

Tamby Ranaivoson examines ectoparasites collected from rodents.

Duke undergraduate Miranda and CURSA graduate Jean Yves conduct interviews about people’s health.

DLC-SAVA Program Coordinator James Herrera studying small mammals in Marojejy.

More information

More information and photos of DLC-SAVA activities can be found in our newsletter archive.


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