Project Madagascar 2019 - Protecting the Iaroka Forrest

A project by: Charlotte Epps

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This project will only receive pledges if at least £50 is pledged by Sun 11 Aug 2019
Undergoing Biodiversity Surveys in a previously un-surveyed area in Eastern Madagascar

Who are We?

We are five Undergraduate female Biosciences students & two Natural History Photography students hoping to get into the conservation field. 

Natalie, our Expedition Project Leader is a second year Zoology student. Anna is also a second year Animal Behaviour student, who is in charge of fundraising for the expedition. Lowenna is a first year Conservation Biology student who is our Health and Safety Officer. We have Poppy who is a first year Marine Biologist and our Social Media Director. Freya is a third year Zoology student, who speaks French and is our Communications Officer.Charlotte is our Scientific Director and is also in her final year studying Zoology. 

The expedition is running in collaboration with two Marine and Natural History Photography Students, Matt who is also in his second year and is our Sponsorship Organiser and Theo is our Kit Officer and he is in his first year. 

What are we aiming to protect?

We are planning on undergoing biodiversity surveys in Iaroka Forest, a never previously explored forest in North-Eastern Madagascar. This expedition will see five undergraduate female Biosciences students working with local scientists from the University of Antananarivo. Iaroka forest is located in CAZ (Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor) a new protected area that encompasses one of the largest remaining blocks of rainforest in Madagascar. This amazing country has lost almost 80% of its original rainforest, and is rapidly losing more. Undergoing this expedition we hope to protect the area from ‘slash-and-burn’ agriculture and mining invading the area. Our aim is to raise £1,500 to help cover expedition costs for the trip, if we manage to raise more we are hoping to bring local students along on the trip. We are currently working with DBCAM (Development and Biodiversity Conservation Action for Madagascar) to carry out the six-week expedition. 

what will we be doing?

The CAZ has long been regarded as one of Madagascar’s top conservation priorities and numerous studies have catalogued its rich biodiversity. To date over 2,043 species of plants have been identified (85% are endemic), with representatives from five endemic families. Fifteen species of lemurs and 30 other species of mammals are known from CAZ as well as 129 species of amphibians and 89 bird species.

CAZ’s flagship species include several species of threatened lemur such as Indri indri, Varecia Variegata variegata, and Propithecus diadema. It is important to see what biodiversity is in Iaroka Forest in hopes to protect the area. We are aiming to undergo five taxa biodiversity surveys with the team from the local university.

We are currently organising to undertake Chytrid fungus presence or absence surveys during the expedition. Any positive tests, we are hoping to bring back to the UK to analyse.

With your help we hope to protect the area not just for the local wildlife, but for the local people too. Many local people depend on the natural forest for resources. We also hope to highlight the area for ecotourism for local communities.

Madagascar is an important country to protect due to the amazing unique endemic flora and fauna that inhabit the land. As passionate Biosciences students we hope that our research will continue to protect the forest for future generations.

Where will the money go?

funds raised will go towards costs for the expedition

This includes:
  • Paying for local guides to take us into the forest
  • Funding local scientists aiding us in biodiversity surveys
  • Meals & camping costs during the expedition
  • Transportation & emergency vehicle for the expedition
  • Organisation & equipment cost to DBCAM

Flights have been paid personally. 

Rewards

Check out our rewards on the side!! We will be posting the gifts after our expedition!

Find us here

Facebook: @ProjectMadagascar2019

Instagram: @project_madagascar

Email: projectloholoka@gmail.com

Help us succeed!

Please feel free to talk to us on the Facebook page about any questions about the expedition. We would also be very thankful if you could share our fundraising page or our Facebook so we can reach more people! Any academic support would be highly useful for our expedition, or even signposting us over to anyone that can help us! 

Make sure you support our Instagram & Facebook and Twitter to help us spread the word!

Many Thanks to Frances Eyre for permission for the photos from previous expedition!

www.franceseyre.com