In 2005 and 2007, a team of researchers, including SANREM Program Director Theo Dillaha, visited Madagascar at the request of USAID to study restoration activities and progress in the Ambohilero Forest. This team was led by Sarah Karpanty, assistant professor of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at Virginia Tech, and also included Charles Welch, a research scientist at Duke University’s Lemur Center, and other partners such as USAID’s MIARO program, Conservation International, and the World Wildlife Fund.
These researchers were sent to Madagascar because of the devastating effect logging has had on the forests and wildlife in this region. Before being shut down in 2004, a logging company used heavy machinery to build the 17 kilometer road through the formerly pristine Didy reserve, then harvested the timber beside the road. Scientists feared that the swath would disrupt migration of lemurs, which typically travel through tree canopies. Deforestation such as that caused by these logging-related activities threatens biodiversity, watershed integrity, soil productivity, and the associated economic value of the land for local people.
After evaluating this deforested site, this research team submitted an "Action Plan for Restoration at Ambohilero Forest, Madagascar, and Similar Areas of Degradation" in August 2007. In this report, the researchers summarize activities at this site since logging activities stopped in 2004, conduct an assessment of natural regeneration at the site since then, and develop an action plan for consideration by USAID’s MIARO program. As a result, USAID MIARO provided $10,000 for the implementation of the action plan.
For more information about the Madagascar Associate Award, please see the aforementioned Action Plan for Restoration (pdf) submitted by this research team in 2007.