Madagascar sustains one of the world's highest priority biodiversity hotspots with exceptional species diversity due to 165 million years of isolation. The xerophytic spiny forests of southwest coastal Madagascar contain extremely important biodiversity, but it is being systematically converted for agricultural use and firewood. Taronga has recently established a partnership with the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership and Conservation Fusion to support an Education Promoting Reforestation Project (EPRP) in the village of Lavavolo.
Overall, the goals of the project are to regenerate the Spiny Forest of South-Western and Southern Madagascar; to introduce alternative and sustainable agricultural practices; to improve the educational system in the Lavavolo and Itampolo communities; and to link the monitoring programs of the Ring-tailed Lemurs, Radiated Tortoise and Spider Tortoise to local community based programs. This project aims at using the seed dispersing ability of the Ring-tailed Lemur to restore and establish the natural habitat in Lavavolo.