Friday, July 25, 2008

Parc Ivoloina

We’ll be on the east coast for the next month or so, continuing to trap Microcebus and evaluate human influence on parks out here in the rainforest. First stop is Parc Ivoloina, a small reserve (~ 400 hectares) privately managed by the Madagascar Fauna Group (MFG), a consortium of conservation organizations, institutions and zoos that share a common mission of conservation in Madagascar. Ivoloina serves as an important park for public education—almost 14,000 visitors and Malagasy students a year come to Ivoloina to see lemurs up close (they have both captive and free-ranging lemurs here) as well as to learn about environmental issues in Madagascar. Additionally, MFG runs training programs for Malagasy environmental professionals, sponsors an agro-forestry demonstration station, and runs a captive breeding program. I visited this reserve last summer as well, where we were able to capture and do health evaluations on almost all of the free-ranging lemurs in the park. We’ll be attempting to repeat that again this year, targeting the Eulemur coronatus, E. rubriventer and E. albifrons, in addition to our ongoing Microcebus capture. Because the free-ranging lemurs in the park are fairly habituated to the human visitors and staff, it’s slightly easier to capture them. We use an effective capture cage system designed by one of the staff members here; the cage can be suspended from a tree and has a trap door that can be closed remotely. When lemurs enter the cage for the fruit and vegetables inside, we can then enclose them and extract them easily. Voila!

1 comment:

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