On the Expedition
Help monitor Madagascar's mysterious predator, the fosa, and protect its fragile island habitat.
Up before the sun, you’ll experience the forests of Madagascar to reach the research areas, often hiking more than 20 kilometers a day. Throughout your expedition, you’ll rotate among a variety of tasks essential to the project’s success. You'll learn how to set fosa traps and use radio-tracking transmitters and receivers, be trained to check trap lines in the early morning and late afternoon, and may help measure trapped and sedated carnivores. You’ll have a chance to spot Madagascar’s many lemur species. Midday is often free for informal lectures or hikes through the fosa's forest home. Your evenings may be spent at local village festivities or sharing stories with members of the nearby women's cooperative.
“The battle to save species like the fosa — which has less than 7% of its original habitat remaining — has to be fought where they live. The difference between Earthwatch and other organizations, and the reason we’re able to make a difference for these animals, is that Earthwatch puts boots on the ground where they matter most.”--Dr Luke Dollar
Meals and Accommodations
You’ll stay at a tented research station with showers and toilets in Ankarafantsika National Park, Mahajanga Province, in the northwest part of Madagascar’s main island. Staff cooks will prepare local fare, based on rice and beans, topped off occasionally with exquisite, locally produced chocolates.
About the Research Area
You’ll be based at Ampijoroa Research Station in Ankarafantsika, Mahajanga Province. The Station serves the 333,592-acre Ankarafantsika Protected Areas Complex, one of the last and largest tracts of dry deciduous forest in Madagascar. The area has more than 20 kilometers of well-marked trails that traverse through tall baobob trees, stands of precious woods such as palisandre, and many species of terrestrial and epiphytic orchids. Ankarafantsika boasts seven lemur species, including the acrobatic conquerel’s sifaka, the rare mongoose lemur, and the nocturnal woolly, sportive, and mouse lemurs. A variety of bird, reptile and amphibian species also inhabit the area.