The impoverished island of Madagascar is frequently considered one of the world’s highest biodiversity conservation priorities due to its high rate of species endemism and severe habitat destruction. I traveled to Sainte-Luce, a small fishing town in Southeastern Madagascar, to explore some of the conservation strategies used to protect the endangered littoral forest and the rare creatures it holds. The research focused on volunteer-scientist based conservation in which people volunteer time to collect data, teach English and Environmental education, and learn about the littoral forest. This project offers an overview of specific conservation projects ongoing in Sainte-Luce, a discussion of some of the obstacles to implementing conservation strategies, cultural values that may assist or detract from conservation efforts, and an assessment of pros and cons of volunteer based conservation systems.
Elijah Schumacher, ’15
Sponsor: Tammy Middlestein