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Nesting boxes to observe the species without disturbing them

Mission: collecting samples

Helpsimus has been watching since 2009 for the protection of Greater Bamboo Lemurs near Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar. A scientific monitoring program for the species is therefore regularly carried out. Teams are sent into the field to collect samples before sending them for genetic analysis.

Fredrich, a research assistant for the Helpsimus association and a good connoisseur of nocturnal lemurs, carried out a mission for several weeks to collect samples of mouse lemur hairs. The objective is to identify the places where mouse lemur species are present so that Helpsimus can adapt its actions according to the areas of intervention.

A new less disruptive method

Commonly used collection methods involve capturing animals. The association has therefore thought about a new means of collection which does not disturb the animals which already live in a very disturbed environment. Thus, the team made small wooden nesting boxes.
The experiment is a success, for a few weeks a mouse lemur settled in one of the nest boxes.
Once the animal left, the volunteers opened the nesting box and dissected the nest it had made. Mouse lemur hairs and droppings could be collected and sent for analysis.

If this new method requires more time and patience, it is nonetheless convincing and above all more respectful of the local fauna and flora. Faced with such success, the association decided to deploy more new field missions to install a dozen nesting boxes throughout the region. The PAL Nature Foundation is delighted with this news, and is eager to discover the new nesting boxes which will be installed thanks to its financial support.

The project in video


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