Conservation Science

  • Research into emblematic species

WCS is committed to science-based conservation and research activities that focus on the presence and threats to the emblematic Silky Sifaka and Indri lemurs, the drivers of bushmeat hunting by local communities in Makira Natural Park, the status of endemic carnivore species, optimization of connectivity between marine protected areas, and threats and conservation strategies for sharks, rays, and dugongs.

  • Réseau de la Biodiversité de Madagascar (REBIOMA)

Rebioma ( –Madagascar Biodiversity Network— is a web-based tool developed by WCS that aims to promote the use of biodiversity data in conservation and spatial planning, including in climate change analyses. 

The Rebioma project was established in 2000 and it places a strong emphasis on science-based conservation action and on training Malagasy conservation biologists and professionals. It is an initiative that centralizes biodiversity data in Madagascar and allows a wide range of users to freely access and analyze that data to inform conservation decision-making and spatial planning. Prior to the creation of Rebioma, no common biodiversity database existed in Madagascar despite the exceptional and unique biodiversity that is found in the country.

Rebioma was set up in order to provide open access to trusted and reliable data. Working with the specially created Taxonomy Review Board (TRB), which reviews every database record, Rebioma has assembled marine and terrestrial taxonomic lists, and built the online infrastructure needed to discover, use, and publish high quality biodiversity data.

  • Spatial Planning

Over the last ten years, Rebioma has gained recognition as a leader in major national and regional biodiversity planning and conservation projects. Its major technical achievements include its support in the identification of more than 4 million hectares of terrestrial protected areas in Madagascar through science-based analyses to contribute to the fulfilment of Madagascar’s 2003 “Durban Vision”. As part of the President of Madagascar’s commitment to triple the country’s marine protected areas in 2014 “The Sydney Promise”, Rebioma is now leading the planning of a marine protected area network with the identification of more than 2 million hectares of future marine protected areas.

  • Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool (SMART)

In 2013 through a USAID-funded program, WCS initiated training on the use of the Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool (SMART) throughout Madagascar, with a focus on nine high-risk terrestrial protected areas: Makira and Andasibe Mantadia parks, the reserve of Tsaratanana, and the six parks that comprise the Rainforests of Atsinanana World Heritage Site, namely Masoala, Marojejy-Anjanaharibe Sud, Zahamena, Ranomafana, Andringitra, and Andohahela National Parks. Following this successful piloting of SMART, it has been adopted by Madagascar National Parks and the Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests as the national Law Enforcement Monitoring (LEM) tool for Madagascar.

SMART is a key part of successful law enforcement and threats monitoring (LEM) system. It has the ability to improve the effectiveness of wildlife law enforcement patrols and site-based conservation activities. Spatial and temporal information on human activities and law enforcement effort, generated from SMART, enables law enforcement strategy decisions and planning to be based upon up-to-date data, allowing managers to respond in a targeted manner to changes and new threats as they arise. SMART is much more than a data collection tool: it is a suite of best practices to help protected area and wildlife managers to promote good natural resource governance.

Quick facts on SMART in Madagascar