Protection for Two of the World’s Most Endangered Primates

indri-indri aie-aie

Ambatovy’s participation in the recent International Primatological Society congress, in Nairobi, Kenya, served as a poignant reminder that two of the top twenty-five most endangered primates live in Ambatovy’s conservation areas. These two species are the iconic Indri indri and Daubentonia madagascariensis, commonly known as the aye-aye. Both of these species are endemic to Madagascar and threatened by habitat loss, poaching and illegal trade.

The aye-aye is the last surviving species of the oldest living family of lemurs. Unfortunately, because of its nocturnal habits and unusual appearance it is the victim of local superstitions that label it as a harbinger of death. The reverse can be said of the indri indri, the largest lemur species and one revered by the Malagasy people, even having a place in the local mythology. At Ambatovy, both are considered as priority species. To date, 7 aye-ayes have been seen in our areas while the indri are more numerous. As such, both the aye-aye and the indri are included in Ambatovy’s lemur conservation program, which includes group monitoring, inventories in our conservation zones, health tracking, and protection measures. Since 2008 more than 28,800 hours of observations have been made of the 11 lemur species that occur around the Mine.

As an environmentally responsible project, Ambatovy has understood from the beginning that we have a duty to ensure there was no loss of native species in the conduct of our operations. A pilot project of the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Project (BBOP), Ambatovy has committed itself to no net loss, and preferably a net gain, in its biodiversity through establishing offset areas, which, in addition to our reforestation efforts, help us deliver on this promise. Ensuring the survival of Madagascar’s iconic lemurs falls within this commitment and Ambatovy is continuing to develop and adapt its conservation actions to meet the needs of these endangered species.