Community management of rare baobabs in Madagascar
Madagascar is the world’s stronghold for baobab trees, which are known for their small crown of horizontal branches and massive, swollen trunks. Six of Madagascar’s seven iconic baobab species are found nowhere else on Earth, and three are threatened with extinction and face an uncertain future.
Through the Global Trees Campaign, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and partner Madagasikara Voakajy have been working with communities in the north and west of the country to protect baobabs. In the north, two species (Perrier’s baobab and Diego’s baobab) are restricted to small ranges and small populations that are threatened by habitat loss and climate change. These threats are exacerbated by increasing incidences of forest fires and the fact that few seeds in the wild grow to maturity. In the west of the country, Grandidier’s baobab is similarly threatened by fire and by the rising international demand for baobab fruit.
Our aims are to protect the remaining populations and habitats of all three threatened baobab species, enhance regeneration to support healthy populations in the long term, and ensure that community fruit harvesting of baobab products is sustainable.
Our core approach has focused on helping communities secure co-management rights over important baobab habitat and aiding the development and implementation of this management. To date, we have worked with three communities to secure over 10,500 hectares of baobab forest in Madagascar and we continue to improve enforcement to reduce artisanal gold mining and to strengthen bushfire management. Additionally, we are researching the impacts of fruit harvesting on Grandidier’s baobab, supporting communities to collect, process and sell Grandidier’s fruit products sustainably, and planting all three threatened species in the wild.
2,061 Perrier’s baobab seedlings and 370 Diego’s baobab seedlings are planted
4,600 Perrier’s baobab seedlings are planted
Alicky Davey, Programme Manager, Plant Conservation
The Global Trees Campaign, founded by FFI and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is the only international conservation programme dedicated to saving the world’s threatened tree species from extinction in the wild. Together with our large network of partners around the world, we have supported the conservation of more than 200 tree species in 38 countries, with FFI directly working in 24 of these.
Prince Bernhard Nature Fund