Lemur Love is a small non-profit organization that conducts research, biodiversity conservation, and small-scale development in Madagascar. The organization’s conservation agenda is simultaneously animal-centric and human-focused and works from the premise that human well-being is irrefutably intertwined with sustainable biodiversity. Its conservation efforts work in tandem with the Malagasy people and local grassroots organizations.
During the discussion, we heard from Founder Dr. Marni LeFleur and on-the-ground Director Dr. Seheno who work to improve the livelihoods of people, flora, and fauna around Tsimanampesotse National Park.
Wonderful! Enjoy every minute you have with the animals. I always bring things that help keep me comfortable in the field. For example, I take and carry a foldable camp stool everywhere. This helps me be still and quiet when I am with the lemurs and they are not moving. I also keep a calendar and count down the days. This helps me remember that my time is limited with the lemurs (enjoy every minute!) and that my time away from home is limited (I WILL see my loved ones again). Best of luck!
It is actually more efficient to purchase most items in-country or donate directly to a reputable charity. Physical items can be very costly on multiple flights, and may not be well suited for the environment (instructions/text not in Malagasy, power outlet differences, etc.). Birth control can also be acquired by reputable charities within Madagascar. Thank you for caring!
Dr. Marni LaFleur
Dr. Marni started Lemur Love as a mechanism to protect lemurs in southwestern Madagascar, after witnessing deforestation and poaching of wild ring-tailed lemurs. She now recognizes that conservation is much more about humans than animals and that the historical, political, and social influences within Madagascar are important considerations to conservation agendas.
In addition to being a member of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group and the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group Section for Human-Primate Interactions, Dr. Marni is also an Assistant Professor at the University of San Diego, where she teaches Biological Anthropology. She is passionate about the rights of both animals and humans, fairness, and equity, and aims to instill these values in her students.
Dr. Seheno Cordaunt-Andriantsaralaza
Dr. Seheno oversees all Lemur Love staff and programs within Madagascar. Seheno earned her Ph.D. at the University of Antananarivo where she focused on the seed dispersal of Malagasy baobab trees. She had a life-changing experience when she worked at the NGO Reniala Lemur Rescue Center, in that she fell in love with lemurs and became an advocate for their conservation.
In addition to her role at Lemur Love, Dr. Seheno is the manager of the Lemur Conservation Network, and a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group’s Section for Human-Primate Interactions. Seheno’s collaborative research on baobabs is currently funded by the Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grant and PEER-USAID.