Christmas is the perfect time the think about trees, especially when it comes to planting them in Madagascar. It's always a good time to plant trees in Madagascar of course, but December leads into Madagascar's January to March wet season when saplings have their best chance to grow and put down roots.
Our New Year target will be to plant 2,023 native trees covering 0.474 km2 of land just beneath the 74,816 acre Mangabe Reserve in Central Madagascar. This will create a corridor of habitat which is urgently needed to enable a population of endangered Black & White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata) to move from an unprotected area of rainforest, into the Mangabe Reserve. The satellite map below highlights the area.
Black and White Ruffed Lemurs were only recently discovered inside the Mangabe managed use area. We believe they have been moving there from unprotected land to the south, where continued slash and burn has been destroying their habitat. By building this corridor, we can connect them to the much larger core area of the Mangabe Reserve, thus providing them with longterm security. Most encouraging is that newborn lemurs have been seen amongst the group, which means that this is a breeding population, capable of surviving once they link to a larger area of habitat. They will join 8 other species of lemur already known to exist within the reserve.
The reforestation will be managed by our Madagascar conservation partners, Voakajy. Aqua-Firma's funding will pay for local people to conduct the reforestation process, providing an important opportunity for income in the World's 10th poorest country. Saplings will in part come from those generated from seed, but mainly from saplings in the shade of mature forest. The rainforest understory usually holds a lot of small saplings, which will only ever grow if the canopy above opens up through a treefall. This is a natural but rare occurrence, so moving some of the saplings to open areas just means that a lot more of these saplings reach maturity.
For further information about Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, click HERE.
Future reforestation targets will be core areas in the south of the existing Mangabe Reserve, which were before we helped to establish it in 2015.
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