Volunteer role: What will I be doing?
The Madagascar Conservation project combines hands on research and fieldwork on endangered species (including lemurs, reptiles and amphibians) alongside community initiatives and environmental education. Volunteers support the local team on their ongoing conservation work in the coastal forests of Madagascar. Activities may include:
- Research population, distribution and behaviour studies on lemurs, fruit bat (flying fox), reptiles, birds, amphibians and insects
- Habitat data collection
- Plant studies, including endangered palm plant monitoring
- Lobster fishery data collection
- Long term reforestation; tree nursery and planting
- Community programmes such as environmental education sessions, English club and alternative livelihood initiatives
The coastal forest is home to many incredible animals including flying fox bats, snakes, frogs, chameleons, butterflies and dragonflies as well as four species of lemur; Southern Woolly Lemur, Brown Collared Lemur, Flat Tailed Dwarf Lemur and an endemic Mouse Lemur.
It’s a fun and dynamic team to join as each day and week can vary greatly depending on the current needs of the community and the research requirements.
In addition to their Conservation project the charity also accept volunteers to support their teams on Building, Community and Teaching English projects across South East Madagascar. You can easily combine these roles.
Why are volunteers needed?
Rapid deforestation of the area is putting many species at risk of extinction so, with the help of volunteers, the team are able to conduct vital research on the ecosystem. Research is often labour intensive and so volunteers are able to provide a valuable extra pair of hands to the long term research staff.
Volunteers’ time and work is not only valuable for the conservation of endangered species, but also for the Malagasy communities. Volunteers help to run the conservation clubs and assist in initiatives which empower local communities, raise awareness and protect the forest long term.
How is the Madagascar Conservation project making a difference?
The Conservation project is located near the coast within one of just three remaining areas of sandy coastal forest. There has been very little research done into the biodiversity of the forest and so they aim to document species, many of which have not been studied previously and may be new to researchers worldwide.
The forests that the team work in are at high risk from the mining industry. The project work with the community to communicate the consequences of mining and help formulate a strategy to stop or mitigate the impact. The research findings are incredibly important as their conservation strategy will be key to helping to protect and conserve species before they are lost forever.
Geographically isolated for 80 million years, Madagascar has an unusual diversity of habitats which has resulted in a high number of rare and endemic species. An amazing 99% of amphibians, 96% of reptiles and 93% of mammals found in Madagascar are unique and found nowhere else on earth.
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Pod Volunteer should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.