Encounters of the Rarest Kind

Madagascar Lemur and Wildlife Conservation Expedition

Explore one of the world's oldest rainforests while working to protect some of its rarests animals.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

Help to protect endangered and critically endangered lemur species in the only remaining primaeval rainforest on the tropical island of Nosy Be. Trek through the forest (day and night) undertaking lemur population censuses, survey the forest for the tiniest of frogs and chameleons, and help to restore their natural habitat by getting involved in regrowing indigenous tree species.

Undertake a full biodiversity survey to attempt to record as many species as possible, from chameleons to frogs and investigate the impact of the last 30 years on the species that live in the reserve. These surveys will be undertaken frequently and year-round to ensure we record the presence of seasonal or rare species that would be harder to record if the surveys are only undertaken during 1 temporal period.

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undefined 30 June 2022
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Program overview

Travel to one of the most ecologically distinct places on earth, Madagascar. Nearly all species found on this island off the East coast of Africa can be found only here. The most famous of these is the lemur. Sadly, nearly a third of lemur species are critically endangered and nearly all are threatened with extinction. This makes lemurs the earth’s most at risk group of mammals.

You’ll be working to conserve three endangered species of lemur, including one of the smallest primates on the planet, the Nosy Be Mouse Lemur, and the Hawks’ Sportive Lemur which is found only in the Lokobe Reserve and nowhere else on Earth. You will be working with the GVI and Lokobe teams alongside other partners to try and gain an understanding of the behaviour and ecology of these species, by collecting data on various factors ranging from population numbers to the potential food sources of the species.

Your work will be based in Lokobe National Park, the only remaining old-growth rainforest on the island of Nosy Be. You’ll carry out surveys of the forest both during the day and at night recording what lemur behaviour you can observe first-hand and on your surveys you’ll also record sightings of the panther chameleon, a striking, frequently poached creature, as well as one of the smallest frogs and one of the smallest chameleons in the world, both of which are endangered. Sightings of the many butterfly species found here are also common.

Habitat loss is one of the biggest threats to endangered species, including lemurs, and you’ll also be working to restore the rainforest by assisting with the regrowth of indigenous plants.

When you aren’t engaged in conservation work, be sure to also visit the protected beach and marine area bordering the forest. Here, you can swim, snorkel or dive in the warm waters surrounded by vibrant corals, tropical fish, sea turtles and dolphins.

Highlights

  • Help protect endangered and critically endangered lemurs.
  • Work to conserve other species found only here.
  • Live in an ancient rainforest on the coast of the tropical ocean.
  • Visit the many other National Parks in Madagascar to see other lemur species and other wildlife.
  • In your free time, see humpbacks whales, whale sharks and hammerheads.

Program details

Program type
Volunteering