Full Forests Fund

Your contribution to Full Forests will support Dr. Cortni Borgerson’s work to ameliorate food insecurity and reduce the unsustainable hunting of threatened lemurs in Madagascar.

Help save lemurs and reduce child malnutrition. 

Nearly one quarter of the world’s primates are found only in Madagascar. These primates, lemurs, are seed distributors, helping to engineer the many different ecosystems of Madagascar. While incredibly diverse (ranging from the size of a mouse to a small child), they are also extremely vulnerable. The world’s lemur populations are declining. Nearly one-third of lemurs are Critically Endangered and 98% are threatened with extinction. Despite Madagascar’s status as a primate mega-diversity country, endangered lemurs are commonly hunted. Rural households eat, on average, more than one lemur each year, or hundreds of thousands of lemurs. 

Hunting is driven by food insecurity.  

Madagascar is one of the world’s least food secure nations and its ecosystems support the health, wellbeing, and food security of rural communities. Few alternatives to wild meats are available in an adequate and affordable supply and many are highly volatile. Thus, the future of lemurs depends on a malnourished human population who commonly hunts them for food.

To reduce the unsustainable hunting of lemurs, we are collaborating with communities whose food security depends on these local forests. To increase alternatives to lemur-meat, we are farming sakondry (Zanna tenebrosa) ­– a traditionally eaten native insect that is both high in essential nutrients and extremely delicious (it tastes like bacon!). 

Sakondry farming can rapidly increase the stability of the local food system, providing enough meat to both replace the meat, and exceed the nutritional value, of hunted lemurs. Strengthening local food security supports local forests; the most active hunters before the start of our interventions cut their hunting in half after one year of insect farming. Further, because this insect can be raised on bean plants in unused spaces, families get beans and meat without the need to clear additional land for farming. 

Together, we can fill both forests and bellies. 

Your donations will directly support the conservation of one of the world’s most threatened groups of vertebrates, lemurs, while putting micronutrient rich food on the table for malnourished kids. For every $25 dollars you give, we can reduce one household's lemur hunting by a third, saving as many as ten lemurs per year. Want to train an entire village to farm sakondry? Or collect data on hunting and help protect an entire protected area? So do we, and together we can.

Montclair State University Foundation is a Section 501(c)3 nonprofit. Gifts to the Full Forests fund may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes.

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