Research Activities

SADABE research at Tsinjoarivo began in 2000 with a brief primate census, which was followed up by a 6-month reconnaissance and primate population survey in 2001. In 2002-2003, we identified four Sadabe (Propithecus diadema) groups for study, habituated them, and recorded their ecology and behavior from January to December 2003. As two of these groups were in continuous forest and two were in fragmented forest, we have been able to speculate on the effects of forest fragmentation on population health. From 2004 through the present, we continue to monitor these same groups, and in addition to recording their behavior we have documented their nutritional ecology (through chemical analysis of food samples) and their parasite diversity (through analysis of fecal samples). In June-July 2008 we habituated four additional groups, and conducted complete biomedical health assessments of eight groups in collaboration with Dr. Randy Junge of St. Louis Zoo.

Because lemur ecology and behavior is intricately linked to the available plant resources, we have undertaken substantial botanical research in concert with the lemur study. This has involved botanical inventories of trees, lianas and parasitic plants in all study groups' home ranges plus several additional forest fragments, and phenological monitoring (tracking fruiting, flowering and leaf flush across seasons).

Finally, since 2006 SADABE has facilitated the research of Marina Blanco. Marina is studying the morphology, taxonomy and reproductive ecology of mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus) and dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus spp.) at Tsinjoarivo.

Research Assistants

Training & Capacity Building


Since 2000, we have trained 11 local people in research techniques. They have gained skills in botanical inventories, phenological monitoring, behavioral observations, and lemur census techniques. Training has also included extensive instruction in English and French. We have also trained our three core senior guides in data recording, and these guides can now work autonomously in data collection. Starting in 2007 we have prepared materials intended to help our research guides and other local people learn English and French skills applicable to guiding tourists.

Click here for a link to publications resulting from SADABE research and other research at Tsinjoarivo.