Makay sentinels

Ecoguards to monitor the Makay protected area

Project :

Makay sentinels

The “Makay Sentinels” project aims to set up a patrol system within the Makay protected area. Ecoguards will monitor species on a daily scientific basis, and keep an eye on human pressures on the natural environment. They will also play a preventive and warning role for all Makay users.


An emergency context

The island of Madagascar is exceptionally rich in biological diversity. Unfortunately, the vast majority of its forest cover has disappeared, leaving this unique biodiversity to be found only in rare, preserved environments such asthe Makay, a spectacular massif of ruiniform sandstone that has become a veritable treasure chest for nature.

This massif is made up of thousands of inextricable canyons giving access to extraordinarily isolated ecosystems including a dozen forests, each covering more than 500 hectares. But these are unfortunately plagued by ever-increasing anthropogenic pressures (poaching, bush fires, excessive clearing and felling).

As a result, the massif’s forest cover is shrinking drastically , putting many species at great risk, as well as hundreds of thousands of human lives. The degradation of the Makay’s ecosystems has a direct impact on the ability of the surrounding populations to live decently in this region.

Ecoguards scientific monitoring

“Ecoguards to ensure daily scientific monitoring and surveillance of human impact on natural environments”.

Our objectives

  • Curb timber harvesting in primary forest
  • Identify malfunctions and damage, as well as their perpetrators
  • Biological monitoring of the massif’s biodiversity
  • Report illegal activities to sworn local authorities (village chief, police station, military) to implement appropriate sanctions
  • Raising awareness among tourists and all Makay users (shepherds, poachers, zebu rustlers, etc.).
  • Stop poaching
  • Limiting bush fires
  • Carry out maintenance and upkeep work on tourist facilities
  • Alert the Makay manager so that he can define appropriate conservation measures

Our method

Around twenty “Makay Sentinels” will be gradually recruited over the coming year. Local people, often former zebu rustlers, our ecoguards have a very good knowledge of the massif.

They will receivetraining in the biology and ecology of forest and aquatic environments, as well as in specific scientific protocols (developed in collaboration with research institutions) to enable them to carry out their mission of monitoring the state of the flora and fauna.

Once trained, they will receive full equipment (clothing, backpacks, radios, GPS, telephones, binoculars, notebooks, etc.) to enable them to work in the safest and most efficient conditions.

Placed under the authority of the protected area managers and working in pairs, they will carry out at least two foot patrols a week in the area assigned to them.

Ecoguards_Photo marche

Our needs

For this project, we need an initial investment to finance recruitment, the purchase of equipment and training. We also need more regular support to finance salaries over the long term.

Ecoguards_Photo massif

Funding scale :

  • Equipment for an ecoguard: €1,000
  • An ecoguard’s annual salary : €1,000
  • One year’s surveillance of a forest: €6,000 (includes salaries, equipment and training for a pair of ecoguards).

“Set up a patrol system within the protected area with a prevention and warning role for Makay users.”

Ecoguard patrols


This project benefits first and foremost the twenty or so ecoguards recruited and trained, as well as their families. It also benefits tour operators and tourists, who can benefit from the knowledge of ecoguards. Last but not least, scientists benefit from a wealth of information available all year round.

Why support us?

You would like to contribute to :

  • the fight against climate change
  • protecting biodiversity
  • a decent future for communities in dire need
Ecoguards_Lemur photo

Who are we?

Naturevolution, which was behind the creation of the New Makay Protected Area, is now the manager mandated by Madagascar’s Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

In order to respond to all the threats facing the massif, its biodiversity and its people, the association is developing a holistic strategy involving awareness-raising, humanitarian aid, agro-ecological diversification, sustainable economic alternatives such as ecotourism, scientific research and reforestation.

Ecoguards_Portrait drawing

Our supporters

Humy logo

We are still looking for funds to complete and extend this project. Help us make it happen with a donation!

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