The Makay 2017 expedition

During the summer of 2017, Naturevolution organized a new great scientific expedition multidisciplinary in the Makay massif in Madagascar, the fourth since 2010. Access to roadbook of the expedition.

A new expedition to the Makay

This new scientific mission took place from July 22 to September 2, 2017. It took place exactly ten years after the first crossing of the Makay : an event that triggered the founding of Naturevolution, the first scientific expeditions in 2010 and 2011 into the massif, and the creation of New Protected Area of the ​​Makay.

In this mountain rangelocated in the center-west of the island, erosion carved over several hundred million years a maze of deep canyons. There, life took shelter in near autarky, occupying all vacant ecological niches. In these isolated ecosystems, free of human observation, biodiversity has developed and diversified, leading to the emergence of new species.

A collaborative undertaking

Under the lead of Naturevolution, several players have pooled their skills to make this mission a success on several levels. La Société des Jeunes Aventuriers First who was the first frame of the scientific team with 5 students of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The People Although Productions and ArteThe youtubeur Leo Grasset (Dirty Biology) as well as NatExplorers, A duo of talented scientists and biologists mediators, all filmed in their way and valued the work of scientists and explicit conservation issues.

Aurélie Calmet, l’illustratrice habituée des expéditions de Naturevolution, a amené pour la première fois ses carnets et ses pinceaux dans le Makay. Enfin, l’expédition a réuni plusieurs dizaines d’écovolontaires venus prêter main forte aux scientifiques, découvrir le Makay et contribuer au financement de l’expédition.

Scientific expedition in 2017 Makay
In 2017, scientists are going back to the Makay canyons.

Participatory science in the field

For the first time, Naturevolution took on a scientific expedition many ecovolunteers attracted by the prospect of contributing to research projects, assisting to the conservation of the Makay massif and living an amazing adventure in a spectacular and secluded nature.

Cet agglomérat de bonnes volontés a surtout permis, dans l’esprit des participatory science, de réaliser en simultané counting and mapping projects of several species (Among other lemurs) in major forest areas of Makay: Menapanda, the largest forest in the Makay; Makaikely south, a forest encased in beautiful canyons that had not yet given rise to any study; Mahasoala north, 2th forest massif, also virgin until scientific studies.

The base camp of the scientific mission in 2017
Makay 2017 expedition basecamps

-> En savoir plus sur nos ecovolunteer missions

What the scientists will focus on

Cette nouvelle expédition scientifique dans le Makay a été la première à avoir lieu en saison sèche. Si cela n’a pas facilité pas les observations, plus aisées en saison humide, cela a permis en revanche d’étudier la faune et la flore dans la transition de cette période difficile. Cette expédition a été également la première à étudier les zones forestières de Makaikely et de Mahasoa, deux des plus grandes forêts du Makay, situées respectivement au sud et au nord de la grande forêt de Menapanda.

Gaëtan Deltour (Naturevolution) et Anselmo Andriananandrasana (GERP)
Animal emblématique de Madagascar, c’est aussi un des mammifères les plus menacés de la planète: 94% des espèces de lémuriens apparaîssent dans la liste rouge de l’IUCN, faisant de leur conservation une priorité. Le Makay, avec 9 espèces confirmées de lémuriens, est un des endroits de Madagascar où l’on en trouve la plus grande diversité d’espèces. Un large projet a été déployé cet été pour l’étude et le suivi des lémuriens du Makay.

Carnivores, Rodents and Bats
Margot CHAUD, Rohan suit, Paul Nicolas (Naturevolution); Martin Raheriarisena et Steven Goodman (Wolfgang)
Read the detail of the research project on carnivores and bats (French).

Primatologist Ed Louis with a Verreaux's sifaka (white sifaka)
Primatologist Ed Louis with a Verreaux's sifaka (white sifaka)

Ferns, Briophytes, Angiosperms and Canariums
Catherine Reeb (Naturevolution) and Rado Ramahandrison (University of Antananarivo)

Vincent Roméra (Agence VISU), Anne-Sophie Lafuite (CNRS) and Eric Marcel Temba (Antananarivo University/Asity)

Insects and crustaceans
Benoît Gilles (Naturevolution) and Jean-François Cart (IUCN)

Antoine Heurtel (Naturevolution)

Megann Texereau (Naturevolution) and Jean Robertin Rasoloariniaina (CNRE)

Ecovolunteers on a participatory science mission
Analysis of samples at base camp.

A lower environmental impact

ATVs, certainly comfortable but inefficient, have been used until they were absolutely necessary. Local collective vehicles were privileged to rally the doors of the massif, and several junctions were made on foot. Inside the massive porting material was done on their backs, which has brought extra additional income to the villagers.

Crossing the Mangoky river in Beroroha
Crossing the Mangoky river in Beroroha

An expedition related through various channels

To share this adventure more and continue our advocacy for the protection of lost worlds, we have been keen to communicate over multiple channels and most varied possible.

A daily diary in text and video
A reporter embedded to tell the shipping daily text and picture format. Evrard Wendenbaum presented meanwhile on some videos, explored places, the equipment used, research and actions on the ground and the members of the team.

These publications were posted on the roadbook, via Facebook and Instagram.

The illustrator Auka
Auka, field illustrator

A 52 minute documentary
Evrard Wendenbaum, in collaboration with Gil Kebaïli and The People Of Production, produced a "discovery" documentary on the entire expedition for a broadcast at the start of 2018 on Arte and in many festivals and conferences.

A short film crazy popular science
Leo Grasset, the Youtuber on steroids of the channel Dirty Biology was there and the result is excellent!

A scientific web series
The talented scientific mediators of NatExplorers, present throughout the mission, produced a video web-series on the scientists' research, the challenges and difficulties of the conservation of Makay. These videos were posted on Youtube and social networks. They will also feed the multimedia library intended for the world of education that we will soon put online on our new site to come.

Radio operations
Interventions waves were carried out in particular in the program " Time for a bivouac "France Inter who spent several interviews live by satellite phone.

Illustrations and exhibitions
The work of scientists and animals Makay was also masterfully illustrated by Aurélie Calmet and Alix Thiebault, and their illustrations can be seen on the expedition blog. The expedition also gave rise to a traveling exhibition on the Makay, et sera prochainement le sujet d’une exposition temporaire de plus grande ampleur.

A book
After sharing 3 scientific expeditions, Aurélie Calmet (illustrations) and Evrard Wendenbaum (Photos) are preparing a joint book. A guide to the fauna and flora of Makay is also in preparation.

Our Partners


Sorbonne University Project FSDIE UPMC Société Francophone de Primatologie
Projets Plus Actions The Peregrine Fund Timarcha