Increased Ranger Patrols in Southeast Madagascar See Major Reduction in Threats for Protected Area

The Lemur Research Group of Madagascar—known as GERP—celebrates 30 years as a conservation non profit! GERP was founded in 1994 by Malagasy native, Professor Rakotosamimanana Berthe, to study and save lemurs.  Conservation Allies partners with GERP at three of its core conservation areas across Madagascar, where we support rangers and law enforcement to patrol and protect wildlife inside GERP’s reserves.  

One of those key sites, the 14,331 acre Efatsy Manombo Special Reserve in southeast Madagascar, consists of unique rainforests and is home to seven species of lemurs, including the Critically Endangered Gray-headed lemur and James’ sportive lemur, both of which are found only in this reserve. Almost no native forest survives in this region outside of strictly protected areas, and pressure to clear forests for timber and charcoal is immense. It is imperative that we protect what remains.

With the 2023 dry season from July to December bringing heightened risks of fires and deforestation, Conservation Allies provided a Conservation Action grant to GERP to increase patrols in Efatsy Manombo Special Reserve. GERP was able to scale their efforts, with seven equipped patrol teams covering over 1,450 miles in the most high-risk areas. Their goal was to prevent imminent threats and apprehend perpetrators undertaking destructive activities.  

Importantly, GERP documented a steep decline in pressure in 2023 as compared to previous years. For example, in 2022 they documented 133 illegal charcoal kilns, while only 74 were observed in 2023. Additionally, illegal logging violations dropped by 400%, with only 64 cases and a total of 6.42 acres cleared in 2023 (17 times lower than the 111.2 acres cleared in 2022). The sharp reduction in threats demonstrates that increased Reserve protection through patrolling teams working with law enforcement works to save wildlife in the face of even the greatest challenges.

We are proud to support the work that the GERP team is doing to conserve the biodiversity of Madagascar.

Featured photos are property of GERP