Carnivores of Madagascar

Wildlife & Ecosystems

Carnivores of Madagascar

Help monitor Madagascar’s most mysterious predator, the fosa, and protect its fragile island habitat.

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Your help comes in the nick of time, as deforestation and hunting threaten many of these special mammals and their habitat.

The survival of Madagascar’s carnivores depends upon our ability to learn about and provide for their needs.

Madagascar’s lemurs are famous, but their rare predator the fossa remains a mystery. The catlike fossa is a large relative of the civets and mongooses. Seven of the eight civet-like carnivores that stalk Madagascar’s forests are found nowhere else in the world. Their habits and population status are virtually unknown. Earthwatch teams are monitoring carnivore populations in the forests.

Dr. Luke Dollar releases a fossa after conducting research.

Madagascar is the third largest island in the world and part of the Madagascar and Indian Ocean islands biodiversity hotspot. Increased development in Madagascar has led to degradation of the island’s natural heritage. What remains of natural habitat is contained within national parks, but these are lightly managed at best. The Ankarafantsika National Park in northwest Madagascar is one of the largest tracts of dry deciduous forest left.

As the first long-term study of Madagascar carnivores, this project is building a wealth of knowledge and helping to develop management plans and practical activities for conservation. The goal of the project is to study the abundance, behavior, and conservation ecology of carnivores across Madagascar, with primary focus on the fossa.

About the research area

Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar, Africa

Daily life in the field


This is a summary:

The Scientists


Associate Professor of Biology, Pfeiffer University & Research Associate, Duke University Primate Center

ABOUT Luke Dollar

Earthwatch scientist Dr. Luke Dollar has spent over a decade investigating and publicizing the plight of the fosa, a unique carnivore native to Madagascar.


Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food


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