My Forest Adventure: Ten Weeks of Discovery and Learning
Text by Diary Randriamora, a Malagasy student who spent last summer working with our research group in Ranomafana through the National Geographic Society's STEM Field Assistant Mentorship program
Working in a rainforest that rains a lot is itself also very challenging. One day, we had a heavy rainstorm on our way to our campsite in Valohoaka. The rain was so strong that it soaked my rain boots and made my feet swell. I also had many leeches stuck to my feet, which was very unpleasant. But I did not let that ruin my mood, because I knew that rain was essential for this tropical forest ecosystem. I embraced the adventure and enjoyed every moment!
I have a message for those who love research like me: don’t be afraid to try something you like and see as beneficial for you because there is always a good way behind adventure. Be determined to achieve your goals and don’t let them be just dreams!
Madagascar field updates summer 2023
Text by Onja H. Razafindratsima
This year, we decided to deploy a couple of GPS collars on the three large-bodied frugivorous lemur species in Ranomafana National Park to get a better sense of their movement patterns and activities. We worked with a team of experts in capturing and handling lemurs led by DVM Haja Rakotondrainibe. These GPS collars will allow us to investigate how lemur movement and foraging patterns change across seasons with varying fruit availability. I have been studying lemur ecology for more than a decade and this was the first that I got up close to my study species in their natural environment. It was exhilarating!
After spending quite some time in Ranomafana, I then joined my mentees in Ihofa, in the eastern part of Madagascar to check on their projects. I enjoyed very much the visit!
Some pictures from the field can be found in this link.