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 our work on threatened trees, Fauna & Flora 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.