Ecoacoustics & eDNA bring new biodiversity monitoring to Manombo reserve, Madagascar

Published: 3rd May 2023

NatureMetrics is proud to embark on a new project in partnership with Rainforest Connection (RFCx) and Health In Harmony, which will bridge ecoacoustics and environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor biodiversity in Manombo Special Reserve, Madagascar. 
The Manombo Reserve consists of 5,800 hectares of protected forest fragments that represent some of the last remaining coastal forests in southeastern Madagascar. Health In Harmony works alongside the communities surrounding Manombo to conserve the forest and is looking to scale up their biodiversity monitoring through different conservation technologies. RFCx is excited to be partnering with NatureMetrics to combine acoustic and eDNA data to comprehensively survey animal species in Manombo. Using these two methods together will increase the amount of species we are able to detect as they usually capture complementary sets of species.
The project will first conduct an initial survey to develop a biodiversity baseline that can be used to assess how the ecosystem is changing over time. We’ll be monitoring 100 species in the area, with a focus on endangered species like the James’ sportive lemur (Lepilemur jamesorum), which is found only in Manombo reserve!

Photo credit: Sarah Graham

NatureMetrics on the project:

Barca emphasized the importance of eDNA in meeting the wider RFCx Manombo project goals, stating that “We hope that the use of eDNA in combination with acoustic monitoring will significantly increase the number of species we can detect, particularly those that are difficult to spot or identify by sight or sound alone. This is a critical tool for achieving the project’s goal of developing a comprehensive baseline of biodiversity in Manombo Special Reserve and supporting its long-term conservation.”

Health In Harmony on the project: 

This study is part of Health In Harmony’s larger Rainforest Exchange project, in which they are developing a platform to connect global donors directly with rainforest communities, to support community-led solutions for the rainforest, carbon, and biodiversity conservation. Stay tuned for results later in the year!

Photo credit: Aina Eric Andrianarisata

Rainforest Connection on the project: 

Other partners on the project: 
Centre ValBio, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar National Parks, Directions Régionales de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable (DREDD) Zoo New England, Duke University, University of Chicago, Mahaliana Labs, Missouri Botanical Gardens

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