My Work

Surveying International Audiences about Perceptions of Lemur Conservation

Director, Lemur Conservation Network

The Lemur Conservation Network supports over 60 organizations working to save lemurs from extinction in Madagascar. To facilitate collaboration among these organizations and their local and international staff, I worked with 3 Malagasy colleagues to survey 331 people on their perceptions of lemur conservation efforts. Then, I compared the results of four audience groups: Malagasy conservation professionals, Malagasy not working in conservation, non-Malagasy conservation professionals, and non-Malagasy not working in conservation.

Results were published in the 37th issue of the journal Primate Conservation, and were featured in a blog post for the Lemur Conservation Network.

Research Goals

We aimed to answer the following research questions:

  1. Do Malagasy and non-Malagasy agree or disagree about lemur conservation priorities?
  2. Are there conservation threats and solutions that may be over- or under-prioritized due to differing perceptions of their importance?
  3. On what topics should conservation education programs focus their efforts? 

My Responsibilities

  • Writing survey questions and building multilingual survey in SurveyMonkey
  • Distributing survey online
  • Transcribing data from in person surveys
  • Analyzing data with statistical analysis
  • Coding free-text responses with Nvivo software
  • Creating graphics to visualize data
  • Serving as lead author on published paper

Key Learnings

The four groups of survey respondents agreed that lemurs and people should be prioritized equally; disagreed about the importance of hunting, charcoal production, and logging as threats; and agreed about the importance of education for Malagasy people, reforestation, and patrolling forests as solutions.

While they were interested in different topics related to lemur conservation, all would like to learn more about how threats facing lemurs are being addressed. Malagasy respondents were also interested in climate change and conservation technology, and non-Malagasy were also interested in Malagasy people working in conservation, conservation success stories, and conservation organizations working in Madagascar.