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P A G E 8
V O L . 2 , N O . 3
N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 3
International Prosimian Congress 2013
In 1993 the Duke Primate Center hosted a symposium for nocturnal prosimians, which
along with the subsequent publication, was dubbed “Creatures of the Dark”. That
symposium has evolved into what is now known as the International
Prosimian Congress, the last of which was held in South Africa in
2007 – until this year.
The 2013 International Prosimian Congress was held at Centre
ValBio Research Station, near Ranomafana National Park, on August
5-9 of this year. The Congress is “recognized as the most important
global meeting for primatologists studying any aspect of prosimian
biology to present and share their experiences”. It was the first such
meeting to be held in Madagascar.
The DLC was well represented at the Congress with 12 associated
researchers and staff both attending the symposium and presenting.
Those affiliated with SAVA Conservation were Lanto and Erik who
presented a poster on the various activities that make up the project
(Erik was also co-author on three other talks and posters), former
Nicholas School student Jennifer Moore gave a talk on her lemur
population (line-transect) surveys and remote sensing of Marojejy
NP, Malagasy university student Manitra Rajaonarison presented a
poster on his silky sifaka research in Makira Natural Park, and Erik
presented a poster for colleague (former Yale University graduate
student) Rachel Kramer on a socio-economic study in the zones near
Marojejy. Also, DLC director Dr. Anne Yoder, who was on her first
visit to Madagascar in 14 years, gave an oral presentation on the
future impact of climate change on Madagascar and lemurs , and
DLC veterinarian Cathy Williams gave a presentation on use of
immobilization drugs in the field.
The Congress truly did provide an excellent opportunity to
exchange information and ideas with an array of Madagascar
researchers and conservationists, many of whom I had not seen in
person for years. It was also an opportunity to renew old
friendships, with both Malagasy and foreigners, who have been
dedicated to the biota of Madagascar for decades. But for me
personally, the most exciting aspect of the Prosimian Congress was
that approximately half of the 180 attendees were Malagasy
nationals, many of whom also gave presentations and posters. That
is a striking and impressive change from such meetings a decade and
more ago. It is encouraging to see a growing national involvement in Malagasy
conservation and environmental issues and research. The increase is in no small part
By Charlie Welch
Nicholas School graduate Jennifer Moore with
Congress banner (see Jennifer's presentation
abstract in next article).
Photo by C. Welch
Photo by C. Welch