Changing Behaviours Towards Problematically Perceived Species – Evaluation and Transfer of Participatory Education Interventions about the Aye-Aye in Madagascar

Beby Holinirina Rabemananjara

The Aye-aye is an Endangered species that lacks effective conservation measures due to its ecology. These solitary animals have large home ranges in which they occur only in very low population densities. This makes their conservation inside small and isolated protected areas very difficult. Outside of these, Aye-ayes are, however, often victims of misconceptions and illegal killing by local communities. This makes it a key example for problems in species conservation in Madagascar. Misconceptions concerning other endangered Malagasy wildlife (e.g., other lemurs, tenrec, bats, snakes) are widely spread across the island, so that finding solutions will be of great relevance for a variety of other species on the island but also for comparable cases worldwide.

This project aims to outline obstacles and to define opportunities for the conservation of the Endangered Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) which is an example of how misconceptions held by local communities can threaten the survival of a species and how these can be changed towards pro-environmental behaviours. The project will be conducted in the northeastern Madagascar. A pre-interview of almost 400 people and different education interventions based on scientific theories were already done. Evaluation of these by re-conducting the 400 interviews one year after the intervention and transferring these findings to three other cultural settings is planned within this project.

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