Helpsimus is a conservation programme for the critically endangered Greater Bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus). The project is based in community owned farmland surrounding Ranomafana National Park where one of the largest remaining populations of the species is found. Helpsimus undertakes population monitoring of the species, protection of it’s habitat and works with local community to develop sustainable livelihoods and finances local schools.
Zoo and Wildlife Solutions, Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Helpsimus have been awarded a grant by The Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation. In 2020 the grant was used to:
- Undertake habitat inventories in territories of Greater Bamboo Lemur.
- Fund two local guides to monitor and habituate a group of Peyriera’s Woolly lemurs (Avahi peyrierasi). This vulnerable species has been very rarely studied and so research is needed to plan conservation actions.
- A MSc student from Oxford Brookes University completed a study “Cathemerality and diet diversity of Prolemur simus inhabiting forests of Tsaratanana, South-Eastern Madagascar” using previously collected data. This will result in 2 peer-reviewed publications.
- Purchase of camera traps, nocturnal viewing lights and a GPS unit for field research.
In 2022, I am hoping to lead an expediion to the research site to to support two Nottingham Trent University students that I will be co-supervising studying 'Reproductive Behaviour in Greater Bamboo Lemurs' and 'The Ecology and Behaviour of the Peryriera’s Woolly Lemur'. Members of Yorkshire Wildlife Park staff will join the team and work as field assistants.