The student presentation series at MBP was officially kicked off by Micou and Lucia. Lucia spent a year at Montage de Francais establishing a reforestation program. She and her colleagues from the village of Andavakoera in the far north of Madagascar worked in MBP’s nursery to raise seedlings from seeds extracted from the poo of the crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus). It takes a lot of work to start a program like this including following the lemurs to get the poo, identifying seeds, preparing germination trials, and then getting the young seedlings back into the forest. They planted nearly 5000 trees this year with the help of Andavakoera’s supportive residents.
The forest here is rapidly disappearing due to illicit charcoal production. Not only is this reforestation effort important to the crowned lemurs, but also to the northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis) who is the most endangered primate in the world. Lucia is now back in Antananarivo, the capital city, to work on writing her thesis. Now, it is time for Micou to pick up where Lucia left off and expand the program to include more native species and get more trees in the ground.