Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar — Madagascar’s lemurs are famous the world over, but their rare predator the fosa remains a mystery. One of the most ferocious predators on Earth, the cat-like fosa is actually a large relative of the civets. Seven of the eight civet-like carnivores that stalk Madagascar's forests are found nowhere else in the world. The habits and population status of many civets are virtually unknown. Dr Luke Dollar and Rahajanirina Léon Pierrot, working with veterinarian Dr Julie Pomerantz, are monitoring carnivore populations in these remarkable forests. Their research – and your help – comes in the nick of time, as deforestation and hunting threatens many of these unique mammals and their habitats.
Meet the Scientists
Dr Luke Dollar
"For the past eleven years, Earthwatch volunteers helped us study the enigmatic carnivore of the Red Island, the fosa. The fosa is the top predator of the Malagasy food chain, but we know so little about it that scientists still argue about how few of these extraordinary predators remain. With its cat-like weaponry and the tenacity of a mongoose, it is certain that the fosa is one of the most capable mammalian predators on Earth. Join us in this adventure to learn as much as possible about the fosa, to protect it and its ecosystem."
Dr Julie Pomerantz
Dr Julie Pomerantz is a field veterinarian and epidemiological researcher specifically focusing on the diseases of the Madagascar fauna during this project. Her research specialties include veterinary medicine, epidemiology, field laboratory techniques, anesthetization and surgery.
Rahajanirina Léon Pierrot
Adjunct Professor of Biology, Pfeiffer University
Rahajanirina Léon Pierrot received his D.E.A. for his work on fosa in Ankarafantsika. He teaches a class on conservation biology at Pfeiffer University in conjunction with Dr Dollar. He has worked with the Fosa Research Team since 1998 and has been Field Director and Chief of Staff for the project since 2003.