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Entries in Oronjia Forest (4)


Team One

Team One from the Oronjia workshop (see More Oronjia) entering the data from their transects [NOTE: They did a total of 53 plots, i.e. 1.06 hectares], as Chris Birkinshaw looks on.  From left to right: Adolphe Lehavana, Chris Birkinshaw (standing), Rico Andrianjaka, Patrick Ranirison, and Mihanta Andriambelo. Other members of Team One not shown: Reza Ludovic and me.  [NOTE: A real pleasure to work with these folks].


No Cutting, No Goats, No Fires

Sign on one of the trees along the road inside the Oronjia Forest protected area. The tree with the orange, papery bark is Delonix velutina, an important local species used to make canoes; the species is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List. I saw tree felling and I saw a lot of goats in the reserve, but no fires. [NOTE: Some interesting strategies are being implemented to get the goats out. Only a few families have goats, but their impact on the forest affects everyone. Stay tuned].


More Oronjia

This is what the dry deciduous forest looks like where we did the fieldwork for the commuity forestry workshop that I just taught with Chris Birkinshaw (see Oronjia Forest). Mostly short, secondary forest growing back after extensive charcoaling. More of a thicket, than a forest, actually.  As is shown below, the setting is fabulous, and there was always a cool breeze blowing in off the ocean.

Running transects through this stuff, however, was tedious at best. Image below shows Reza Ludovic pulling the transect rope to lay out a plot. Yes, he is crawling. Fieldwork was so hard – that it was funny. All the participants did a marvelous job, and we ran over two kilometers of line through this "forest" (thx, everybody, for your stamina and good spirits).   


Oronjia Forest

Off next week to northern Madagascar to give a five-day workshop on sustainable forest use by communities. Fieldwork will concentrate on the dry decidous forests of the new Oronjia protected area (inside red circle). The workshop is being organized in collaboration with the Missouri Botanical Garden (thx, Chris), who has a long history of botanical exploration in Madagascar. Looking forward to the trip.