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Videos: SAVA Conservation

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Learn more about the DLC-SAVA Conservation project with this series of videos! After watching, we also invite you to visit our archive of annual newsletters highlighting the DLC’s work in Madagascar.

The DLC’s conservation projects in Madagascar are funded entirely through grants and donations, so your contributions turn our conservation dreams into realities. Please consider supporting us with a tax-deductible donation today!

Introduction: 10 Years in the SAVA

In 2021, we proudly celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the DLC-SAVA Conservation project. We commemorated the occasion with this film, highlighting some of the top priority projects in our conservation programs.

Lemurs of the SAVA Region

Enjoy this video created by the DLC-SAVA Conservation team with Malagasy filmmaker Riccardo Morrelas, showcasing the lemurs of the SAVA region of northeastern Madagascar.

The Duke Lemur Center partners with Malagasy scientists and local forest managers to study lemurs in remote rainforests. Researchers from CURSA, the university in the northeast region, are studying the diversity and abundance of lemurs throughout 200,000+ acres of rainforest, seeking to understand how many individuals of these Critically Endangered species remain. We are particularly focusing on the silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus) because it is a highly threatened flagship species that only persists in some of the most pristine forests.

Allo arovana ny ankomba sy ny atialantsika ee! Let’s all protect the lemurs and the forest!

Climate Change

Climate change is affecting everyone across the globe. Unfortunately, in low-income countries like Madagascar, people are bearing the burden of climate change and experiencing its effects firsthand. DLC-SAVA partnered with a local civil society organization to conduct outreach events informing rural communities about climate change, as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies, co-sponsored by the U.K. Embassy.

Landscape Restoration

To restore forests and the benefits those habitats have for people and wildlife, DLC-SAVA supports local communities to plant trees in areas that have been deforested. Our approach combines restoring forest with native trees as well as developing agroforestry with high-value cash crops like cloves and vanilla. Here is an example of our landscape restoration efforts at one of the sites, the sacred mountain of Ambanitaza.

Student Research in the SAVA

DLC-SAVA Program Coordinator Dr. James Herrera spent much of summer 2022 in the COMATSA/Ambodivoara area of the SAVA, working with teams of students from CURSA, Duke University, and other institutions. One team of students worked in the COMATSA forest conducting lemur surveys and ecological research, as seen in the first video; while the second team did sociological and agricultural work in the village of Ambodivoara, which can be seen in the second video. The students from Duke and other American universities were supported by Duke’s Bass Connections and Story+ programs.

From Dream to Reality

At the New Generation School Garden, founded by DLC-SAVA Education Specialist Evrard Benasoavina, children learn about the environment, ecosystem services for people, and sustainability. Lessons emphasize plants and animals endemic to the SAVA region, including 25 species of lemur. “The children are always surprised by how many species we have in our region,” says Evrard. “It gives a sense of pride about the valuable biodiversity found only here.”

World Lemur Day 2022

On November 18 in Sambava, many partners collaborated to host a spectacular day of events for local schools! Starting with a parade through the city, in which each school dressed according to different themes, the celebration moved to a beachside outdoor venue with educational presentations by hosting partners, including the mayor, Ministry of Environment, WWF, Lemur Conservation Foundation, DLC, and Missouri Botanical Garden, among others. In the afternoon, more fun-filled lemur presentations were followed by Q&As with prizes for the kids.

Performances by local youth groups were interspersed, highlighting the talents of Sambava’s students. Lemur-inspired parade themes and performances were judged, as were poetry, dance, and art contests. Winners earned a trip to Marojejy National Park and tree planting events at their schools. After educational lesson plans, students were tested on their knowledge during Q&As, and were awarded prizes ranging from lemur coloring books and crayons to fuel-efficient cooking stoves, t-shirts, and other fun gifts.

Research: Relationships between People, Plants, and Lemurs

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers, including Duke Ph.D. candidate Camille DeSisto, has been studying the complex relationships between people, plants, and lemurs in COMATSA, a protected area in the SAVA region of Madagascar. Researchers from local communities, Duke University, the Duke Lemur Center, CURSA (the SAVA regional university), and the University of Antananarivo are working together to investigate why these relationships are important and how environmental change may alter critical ecological interactions. By integrating lemur surveys, botanical plots, seed dispersal experiments, and local ecological knowledge, the team hopes to advance understanding of forest ecology and conservation in COMATSA.